Maria Werntz

BS Fashion Merchandising Management, Class of 2018

"The staff members at SNHU are simply amazing, and I am so thankful to have the pleasure to work with many of them."

When I lived in New York City, I found myself provoked by the fashionable pieces of custom art walking amongst me on the streets of 5th Avenue. I knew in my heart that I had to be surrounded by this beauty every day of my life. During my stay in the city, I was accepted into a fashion merchandising program at NYC university, but it never felt like the right timing to pursue my dreams. A couple years had gone by, and my fear that I had strayed away from my dream for too long had overwhelmed my body. I was going to school at the local community college for a degree that didn’t surround my soul with happiness. I had become a single mother of the most amazing baby boy that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I became a full-time employee. I still felt a huge void, something else was missing in my heart, but I couldn’t pinpoint it.

In the early days of November 2013, I saw a commercial on the television for Southern New Hampshire University online degrees, and I immediately began to research their undergraduate majors. I was so ecstatic! The ability to obtain a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising was on their detailed list of majors. I filled out an application straightaway, and by the end of the day I had received a phone call from one the admission counselors at SNHU. Her name was Shalea Benoit-Zietlow, and we talked for an hour or so about my love for fashion. The enthusiasm in her voice toward the success of my dreams made me feel comforted and warm inside. She made me feel like anything is possible. I went into the phone interview with her thinking that I was not going to be able to start at SNHU until the fall of 2014, but she worked with me every day and did everything in her power to have me start on January 7 for the first term of Spring 2014. I cried so hard, I was tremendously happy that my dreams were finally coming true.

I just successfully accomplished my first term here at Southern New Hampshire University, and my student advisor, Meghan Eslinger, wrote me a congratulatory e-mail on how happy she was for me and my successful attributes to the college. She told me that with all the roles that I play, she knows that I am at least succeeding in being a student. The staff members at SNHU are simply amazing, and I am so thankful to have the pleasure to work with many of them. They actually care about the success of your life and want to grace you with as many compliments as possible when you are achieving great accomplishments.

My self-confidence had risen, and I now feel that I am capable of anything. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be a student at SNHU, and I am excited to see what the rest of my chapter at SNHU has in store. My son is my biggest motivation through all of this; people told me that having a child meant giving up your dreams, but having a child taught me to fight even harder for them.