Lorenda Redd

BA Creative Writing & English - Nonfiction, Class of 2017

"My advisor walked through with me every struggle I faced with optimism and encouragement."

My name is Lorenda Redd and I am halfway through my third term at SNHU. I am 50 years old and I live with my daughter and my three grandchildren, that I have helped care for the last five years. I have struggled through life with limitations associated with Asperger’s, ADHD, bipolar, social anxiety and personality disorders on my own without social or family support. There were many other personal obstacles and struggles that have baffled psychologists as to how I am able to still function with some quality of life.

I have always expressed that I am not anyone special that I have two choices, give up and let life happen or fight and make life happen. It has been the last five years that have been difficult. I lived on my own and I worked a full-time job making $13 an hour and a part-time job making $8.50 an hour. In 2009, I had to have nine different surgeries within six months and I could not work. I lost my home and I had to live in a homeless shelter and take buses to my doctor and physical therapy appointments. I nearly broke when they told me that I would never be able physically to return to the kind of work I did for a living. Two months later I was told that I had a medical condition that required cancer medications and treatments. I had no insurance or income so I took my daughter’s offer to move in with her family in South Carolina.

After two years, I was able to get disability and insurance to complete a year of cancer treatments followed by another surgery. I suffered more permanent damage physically and mentally and I was feeling like life was useless at this point. I was having coffee one morning and I decided that I am not ready for a rocking chair or an income of $695 a month. I said to myself that I have overcome every obstacle thus far in my life and I could do it just one more time. My decision to go back to school was a long and difficult one, especially with the daily regiment I have to follow in order to function but I decided to try.

When I called SNHU, they were absolutely amazing. They were very supportive through the registration process and went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed for my first term. I feel I owe all my success with my online courses to my student advisor. I was ready to quit in my third week because I did not adjust very well to online learning, learning the material being taught and trying to learn within the limits of my learning challenges.

My advisor walked through with me every struggle I faced with optimism and encouragement even when I was a crying mess. I felt like he cared and wanted me to succeed more than I did. As much as we have talked these last three terms, he probably feels like he has known me my whole life. Not once did he make me feel like I was a burden or that he was too busy to help me. I have never had this much love and support my entire life. For the first time in my life I feel like I can reach my goals and I still have time to reach them. Online classes have changed my whole outlook toward my life and it feels wonderful. I know my challenges are not over, but I know whatever they may be, SNHU will help me through them.