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Donna Kilgore

BA Creative Writing & English, Class of 2016

"SNHU offered me the exact program I wanted, and the support I needed to not only stay on track, but to excel."

It took me a long time to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up and let's face it, by age 40, life has a way of keeping you too busy to really think about your forgotten dreams and goals. I put my personal aspirations on the back burner in order to focus on being a domestically challenged wife and not so super-mom.

On my 40th birthday, the light bulb of realization exploded over my head, alerting me that I'm exactly what I want to be (grown up or not) and it was time to pursue my dreams, officially. My "hobby" of pouring out my heart and soul through poetry, creating stories in my head while I washed dishes, and working secretly on novels after everyone was asleep each night was a pretty good hint. I'm a writer. I have always been a writer. I enrolled in a writing school, and began working freelance and as an aspiring novelist. I became published for the first time while enrolled there, and I earned my completion diploma. But I wanted more.

I wanted to get a degree in writing – a real one. The idea was daunting, to say the least. I'm a wife, and a mother to a special needs child. I run a death-row dog rescue. I homeschool the kids. When would I find the time or energy to go back to college? I decided that an online option would be the only way to go. I began seeking out schools that offered writing degrees. I did some research and made a few calls.

I was immediately impressed with SNHU’s nonprofit status, the staff and the quality of the programs offered. Not to mention, the price was right. I knew I'd found the right place, and enrolled. I’m majoring in English and creative writing, with a minor in psychology. Once I earn my BA in Creative Writing, I plan to continue on to a master's in creative writing.

It had been two decades since I'd earned my associate degree, and I was nervous and excited to get started. This has been one of the most amazing and worthwhile things I've ever done for myself. I love the classes offered. The professors are amazing. The advisors are involved and encouraging, and even though I'm an off-campus student, I truly feel a part of the experience at SNHU.

I've proven to myself that I can do this, no matter how many irons in the fire I have, and I can do it well. I've maintained a 4.0, been accepted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, and had multiple offers and invitations to be a part of other programs and projects at SNHU. I don't think I would have had this level of success at any other school. SNHU offered me the exact program I wanted, and the support I needed to not only stay on track, but excel. And, I do it all while still managing my home life, and all that that implies!

The part-time online option has been perfect for me. It's still challenging, but never overwhelming. I've encouraged anyone seeking a degree to consider SNHU. I truly believe that the level of student success speaks for itself. I am living proof that success is attainable. Anyone who knew me in high school will tell you I barely squeezed by with just passing grades. I was never a "straight A" kind of gal. It might be that I'm older and wiser now, but I definitely think the support and encouragement I've gotten from my advisors, professors and peers lies at the heart of my success thus far. I am academically stronger than I have ever been. But more importantly, my self-confidence has soared knowing that nothing can stop me from following my dreams all the way to the end.

With the right school and the right support, you really can succeed. Follow your dreams. Give your all to making them come true, and know that you can and will achieve all you hope for and even more. Through my experiences at SNHU, I've learned just how determined, strong and patient I can be. I've used that lesson both inside and outside of the classroom. In the process, I've proven to myself that I can do anything I set my mind on, and put my heart into. There's no stopping me now!

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." -Harriet Tubman