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Matthew Dawson

BS Business Studies in Operations & Project Management, Class of 2016

"With the help of my awesome advisor, and my loving wife, I am happy to say my second attempt at a college education is going better than expected."

My educational voyage has been as full of twist and turns as any modern-day thriller movie. During high school I was an A/B student, full of ambition and motivated to continue my education. But due to multiple family issues during my senior year, I decided my family needed me more than I needed an education. Instead of telling them the truth, I lied and said I was not accepted into any colleges, and that I was going to attend a local junior college instead. During this rough time, my grades were not a priority, and my part-time job turned into full-time, which later turned into my first career.

Ten years into my career, hard work and a never-say-die attitude, I was able to work my way up the corporate ladder – and education was an afterthought. Then on my 10th-year anniversary, I met the love of my life. And within six months I realized I could not be without her, so I quit my career and moved to be closer to her. Fast forward four years. We found ourselves married and expecting our first child. That wonderful day in February when my daughter Gabriella was born, I decided it was my duty to lead by example. And this included completing my college degree.

I enrolled with Southern New Hampshire two weeks after she was born, and was taking classes three weeks after that. With a newborn baby, a stressful full-time job and a full course load, I sometimes wondered if my timing could have been worse. Then I would glance at the picture of my newborn daughter I keep on my desk. One look at her innocent face, and all doubt would leave my body, that space now filled with encouragement. My family is my motivation and will to forge on, and without them I would be lost. With the help of my awesome advisor, and my loving wife, who allows me to have all the time I need to complete my work, I am happy to say my second attempt at a college education is going better than expected.