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SNHU Spotlight: Jessica Thompson, BA in Human Services Grad

Jessica Thompson a 2023 SNHU Bachelor of Arts in Human Services graduateA decade ago, standing inside the SNHU Arena holding her diploma is just about the last place Jessica Thompson '23 thought she would find herself. But, crediting her own hard work and support from others, that's exactly where she was.

As she approached 10 years in recovery, Thompson earned her online bachelor's in human services with a concentration in substance abuse from Southern New Hampshire University. She hopes the degree and what she learned during the program will help her better serve and advocate for the mothers in recovery she works with.

"It feels amazing to complete that (journey), and honestly, it's a give back to the community and all the people that really believed in me when I didn't believe in myself," Thompson said. "Now, with this education, I can continue my professional journey to help other moms in recovery. So that's why it's so important to me, and this means so much."

Thompson said one of the most important things she learned during her program was the importance of advocacy in the world of substance abuse treatment. She said she's become interested in working with lawmakers and policymakers to make treatment more accessible rather than focusing only on the treatment itself.

She said she decided to study online for the flexibility it afforded her, allowing her to complete her coursework before or after work or while traveling.

"Wherever I needed to be physically, that laptop could come with me," she said. "That was critical."

Going to the Commencement ceremony in person was meaningful, Thompson said, because it marked the culmination of her efforts and the importance of the support of those around her during her time in the online degree program.

"It was really important for me to come down for Commencement to really validate all the hard work and all the dedication I've put into my degree and to really celebrate with all the people that supported me," she said.

Thompson said that support came from her family, friends, her academic advisor, and others at SNHU.

"It's been a great experience for me. I found a lot of support," she said. "When I was really doubtful of myself and my strengths and my abilities, there was a whole team of support there to help remind me that, once again, I can really do hard things and accomplish my goals."

Thompson said she hopes her success is an example that you can decide how to change the rest of your life regardless of your past.

"I would like for people to know that even if you've had a really hard past, that your future can look like whatever you want it to," she said. "If you persevere and you're dedicated, you can accomplish your goals."

A degree can change your life. Choose your program from 200+ SNHU degrees that can take you where you want to go.

Joe Cote is a staff writer at Southern New Hampshire University. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About Southern New Hampshire University

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs. Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.