July 20, 2010

Are you trying to go back to college?

Posted: 06:53 AM ET

"Morning Express with Robin Meade" and "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell" are looking for real stories from real people who are trying to go back to college.

Did you have to put your education on hold to raise your family?

Are you out of work and want to go back to school to learn a new skill?

Has your decision to serve in the armed forces caused you to put off school?

Tell us about the obstacles you face. We're looking for inspirational stories that could end up on "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell" on HLN!

Click "Add A Comment" below!

Filed under: Back to School • Extras • Jane Velez-Mitchell • Robin Meade

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Pauline Barbadillo   July 20th, 2010 8:19 am ET

I dropped out of high school to help my parents raise my younger siblings because we were all each other had. I finished the rest of my 3 years of HS by G.E.D. I promised myself I would not make the same mistakes in college. I completed my first year of college majoring Criminal Justice until September 20, 2009. My 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer. I tried hard to juggle my classes & be there for my daughter, but in the end I choose to be 100% caregiver/nurse/full time mother. My daughter has been through 6 months chemotherapy & done 3 bone marrow transplants. She is now a 3 yr old brain cancer survivor ready to start Pre-kindergarten. I am eager to pick up right where I left off in college. My plans for the future are to become an Oncology physician.

owen   July 20th, 2010 9:00 am ET

i'm currently enrolled in a local technical school an have recently been cutoff by unemployment but if congress does not approve the bill i don't know what i will do. come on congress we voted you'll in office to take of the people.

Mississippi Educator   July 20th, 2010 9:35 am ET

I selected education as a career choice first because I enjoy working with children. Secondly, I was advised that a career in education was a sure job. Well unfortunately due to budget cuts, jobs in education are being cut out like jobs in auto manufacturing. Many of my cohorts with 15yrs or more of experience in education are considering going to the gulf to clean the beaches for the next 2-3 years. They would make more money, and they will more than likely have jobs they can count on. God help us all!

Amanda   July 20th, 2010 11:27 am ET

I did have to put my school on hold for my children. I have two special needs children with mild cases of Celebral Palsy, and they needed my attention at the time. While they still need my attention they have made a lot of progress, and I was lucky to find a school that I could go online at home with my children. I am excited to be getting my degree, and I can't wait to give back the education system who was so beneficial in helping my children with their progress. My degree of choice is a Elementary teacher with a minor in special education!

Allison Durbin   July 20th, 2010 11:31 am ET

I have a daughter who is 15 months old. For some reason I waited until I had my first child before I realized how important getting an education was. When my daughter was five months old I officially went to college. I am 25 years old and I so wish I would have gone back to school BEFORE having a child. I think it took having my daughter to realize that I wanted better for her than I had growing up. She is my inspiration to be the best I can. I am currently enrolled at a community college locally and I plan to become a Registered Nurse. My long-term goal is to become a Mental Health Nurse Practictioner.

Jennifer   July 20th, 2010 11:45 am ET

Soon after high school, I got married and had children. After giving birth to two children, I decided to go to college to better myself for my children. During my first semester in college, I found out that I was pregnant with my youngest son. I continued college for another year, but a divorced caused me to have to drop out and obtain employment. In 2006 I returned to college and was determined to graduated. Although it has been difficult to raise 3 children while going to college and working, I am very proud to say that this December I will graduate with my degree in Early Childhood Education!

Stacy   July 20th, 2010 11:47 am ET

I graduated High school in 1999. I was pregnant at the age of 19 had my first child at the age of 20. As soon as I became pregnant the father of the child became very mentally abusive. At 22 I got pregnant with me second child, had him at 23. I was not able to work or go to school because I had no way to pay for school. I did work for the period of my second pregnancy but the father of the child made me quit to stay home with the kids. I wanted to work but I did enjoy staying home with the kids. Eventually, thanks to my current husband I got the courage to get out of the abusive relationship. I have been fighting the courts to get child support for my two kids but for some unknown reason they will not order any, we were never married. I am in Florida and he is in CT. My husband who is in the military, we have been trying to figure out how to get me back in school but we make enough money to take care of ourselves and the kids but not for school or child care. I had my third child when I was 26. I'm going to try and get a night job to see if it helps. I want to go back to school to become a pastry chef and eventually have my own bakery/restaurant. I am 29 years old, I love taking care of my kids and know that they are not in the hands of someone else but I also want a career to be able to give them more and do more things and if I can do that then I want to help others!

Nicole Julian   July 20th, 2010 12:08 pm ET

I graduated from high school, but at the tme my parents didnt have the money to send me to college. We decided that i would work for the next year then go back. I had 2 beautiful kids and needless to say never went back. I have been out of school for 15 years and this is my second semester at Ivy Tech Community College. My kids are now 11 and 13. I decided to go back to school to become a Dental Assistant to better our lives. It also has been a good learning experience for my kids. That they need to stay in school until college is done becase it is a everyday struggle now that I have went back.

Janice   July 20th, 2010 12:25 pm ET

I was raised to be a mother and housewife not a business woman as so many girls were back in the early sixties. Raised as number 6 with 7 siblings. When I turned 18 my father even cashed in my life insurance policy he had on me and then sold my cemetery plot he and my mother had bought for each of us kids!!
I now have 4 children of my own, 3 of which are grown and a 14 year old still in the nest. I got into college in 2008 and went for two semesters per year and I've made the Deans List every semester. I was chosen as "student of the year" in Computer Graphics Technology 3D. (I received a standing ovation by all the "kids" in my class!!) One example, I can restore any cracked and torn black and white photos from your family album and even colorize it with the exact colors from the time period it was taken.
It has been a dream of mine to complete my degree in Applied Science but at my age and with no degree I am jobless. I've proved I excel, but lack the funds to finish. I've been told if you make money doing what you love, you will exceed in your field. I love working with graphic design, I love advertising and web design. As my Japanese daughter in law would say: "It's a sad cat story."
I Love your show and watch it every morning. Thanks for keeping me updated on essentially everything Robin!

David   July 20th, 2010 12:49 pm ET

The only way I can afford to go back to school I that the Va is paying due to veteran status. I'm going to major in aircraft system with maintenance manegement skills.

Shannon Heaccock   July 20th, 2010 12:52 pm ET

At 21 my husband at the time suffered a brain injury while in the Army. Leaving him 100% total care to me.. We had a young child and I came back home trying to live life thru him and the new lifestyle we had. I went back to get my GED and did not want to stop there, so I enrolled in school. Soon things changed and he became violent leaving me no choice but to once again put my life on hold..
Now years later and children later I am a single mom trying to decide if I can go back to school afford child care etc.. But IT WILL HAPPEN.. We are strong and only at times can things get worse!

Bruce Yoder   July 20th, 2010 1:13 pm ET

I was laid off from one of the many RV companies Feb. 6, 2009. I received a grant from the state to start school. I started right away for a degree in Medical Assisting. My wife works part time and I received unemployment which allowed me to go to college. I am 5 months away from graduation and out of unemployment with no expectation to get a 5th tier. This makes it very hard for us. If I get a job I am unable to complete my labs and my externship that is needed for a degree. I have been looking for work but at 59 years old I have not even got an interview.

Cheryl Wilson   July 20th, 2010 1:15 pm ET

I graduated high school in 1981 at 17 years old. I immediately started working at the local coal mine in the hopes of making some money then going to college to be a nurse. In the 21 years I worked at the mines, I bought a house, had 2 wonderful children, got divorced and remarried and basically was stuck with a mortgage and many bills and a job that was mundane and unchallenging. In 2006, I saw an ad in the local paper for a nursing course in a college nearby. I discussed it with my husband, and together we decided I would quit my thankless job and become a nurse. My youngest would be graduating in 2007, and so, that same year, at 44 years old and a Grandma of 2 boys, I left coal mining and went back to school to be an LPN. I graduated from college with my class of 20 something year olds, and my proud family by my side. I have never looked back since. It wasn't easy after all those years of being out of school, but it was the best decision I have ever made (besides divorcing my first husband and marrying my second). It is never too late to pursue your dreams. If you really want it, you can make it happen.

Randi Slavey   July 20th, 2010 1:27 pm ET

As a child who was beaten and abused sent around cause I was unwanted till I was 14 yrs old I have over come a lot healed many old wounds but this it the hardest wound I have still to heal . When I was with my mom I thought I knew it all and could do it all so when I turned 16 I ran away from home and dropped out of school. I had great grades the only bad grade I had was on geometry and the teacher made sure to point that out to me in the class. She was pure evil and told me I was a waste of her time. I have 2 daughters 4 & 2 I want them to be proud of their mommy but at the same time I want to be proud of me!! I want to be able to show others I wasn't a waste of time. I want to be a nurse so badly it hurts. I love to help others and think being a nurse would allow me to do good. Plus there is alway a job for a nurse.

Lisa Beiger   July 20th, 2010 2:32 pm ET

I have been working on an Assoc. Degree in Criminal Justice almost 4 years now. Normally this degree would only take approx. 2 years. But I have had to extend it due to having to work full time & go to school part time. Besides having that on me, this degree requires you pass several math classes. Math is the one subject I struggle with tremendously! I have failed several of these classes, putting my graduation to a later date. Many of the students cannot understand the need for these classes when they will not apply to the field we choose to go in. Go figure! And now I am unemployed & having a very hard time finding employment. Sure, I can go back to school full time but how is that going to help me to pay bills and other necessities in life without a job now? so now I am stuck and may have to skip a semester. Talk about catch 22!

Heather   July 20th, 2010 2:40 pm ET

I started my family early at the age of 18. I came from an unstable family and pride my self on the strength of my family. That said, I feel somewhere down the line I started looking out more for my family than myself. My dream is to be a psychologist, though my dreams seem so far away. In my economic situation, there is no leftover money to be selfish and folliow my dreams. Until that day comes, I can only dream that one day I will be deciphering the brains of others rather than racking my own!

Michael Guy   July 20th, 2010 3:08 pm ET

Always had a desire to go back to school to do my dream job, but never had the courage until after I got clean and sober almost 6 years ago. While in sober living and working two jobs, my parents were asking me what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I already had a degree, but was over 30 and looking at a bleak future. I had a little voice in my head after some soul searching tell me to go back to school and become a meteorologist – so that is what I am working on right now. I did come to the University of Miami 3 years ago to work on this degree. However, my financial situation has dwindled since then and also my father has not been in the best of health and would like for me to move closer to home (which is Chattanooga). I decided after the spring semester to move back to Atlanta to finish my degree out at Georgia Tech. Now, the challenge has been taking the rest of my prerequisite classes to get into graduate school, find a job, and move – all by November. I decided to enroll at Georgia Perimeter College to take one class online this fall while moving, so not to loose out on a whole semester. Then I have just two semesters of Physics and two semesters math classes left before I can be accepted by Georgia Tech's masters program in Atmospheric Sciences. I will then be able to afford the rest of my education myself back in Georgia compared to what I was paying in Florida. (However, I will be paying out the ying yang in student loans) . I have been back to let my counselor know how I have been able to keep all this going (ie: school, work, and my sobriety), and there are not that many success stories of people who actually got out of rehab, had nothing, stuck to their goals and are working to achieve their dreams. I am going to finish this path that God has chosen for me and see where it leads.

Thomas Ussery   July 20th, 2010 6:30 pm ET

I graduated high school in 2006. Went to college after high school but had to drop out due to debt.Parents wanted me to help them with their kids and stop my life,which I did. My father ended in jail because of his mistakes and they wanted me to help the family while they he was doing his time. I decided to go back to AZ for school and they warned me that if I did they would never help me again. So I took the chance and now here I am trying to find myself with the Lord help. (Abridged version)

Melissa   July 20th, 2010 8:45 pm ET

Although I had my son at the young age of 16 years old, I managed to graduate with my high school class in 1989 in my hometown of El Paso, TX. Being a single mom I just knew that college was not for me. But by the time my son was 6 years old, I was working 2 jobs and only making 15k a year. Every night when I would go thru my son's back pack to see what he did in school that day I would pray to figure something out to help us get out of the hole we were in. It was thru this process that I decided to quit both jobs, get on welfare and go back to school full time.

I started drawing up a plan to ask my dad to let us move back in with him and figure out how I was going to pay for my bills without working. After my dad said that we could move back in with him on the condition that I made straight As, I created a plan to go back to school full force. I got on food stamps, welfare, and financial aid. Later with my good grades I got lots of scholarships. I ended up graduating in the Summer 1999 with a BBA in Business Administration – Accounting with a 3.97 GPA and a Masters of Tax with a 4.0 GPA. I was the first in my family to graduate and it was an amazing feeling.

Thru my 11 year career following that amazing day, however, I found my passion to work with animals. It all started when my son decided to join the U.S. Marines about 6 years ago and I decided to get a dog to help me deal with my awful empty nest syndrome. Ironically, not having grown up with dogs, and thus, not having experience with them, I ended up getting two labs from a backyard breeder. I was determined to make them a part of my family so I studied about dogs every night, and joined dog owner web chats online. I worked everyday in training my dogs to pee outside, walk on a leash, etc. They ended up being such good dogs that I got me another dog. Six mos later I thought about getting another. But before I did, I explored changing my career to become a Veterinarian. Because part of the requirements in preparing for Vet school was to work in animal rescue I decided to volunteer at a local humane society. Before I knew it, I was an integral part of the animal rescue community, volunteering for multiple rescue groups, helping a lady start a non-profit organization of investigating animal cruelty cases, getting appointed to the advisory board to the local animal control, attending budget meetings for city council and the county commissioners court, and attending meetings for the County Health department. So I put my going back to school on hold. I also ended up adding a few more dogs to my pack with dogs I rescued in my volunteer work. I ended up with a pack of 7 (2 Saint Bernards, 2 labs, 1 Westie, 1 Beagle, and 1 chihuahua).

Sadly, after just 4 short years of having him in my life, my chihuahua (the youngest and smallest dog in my pack) suddenly passed away this past July 4th weekend. It was such a sudden and tragic death that it has pushed me to again rethink going back to school to become a Veterinarian. I never knew my passion for animals could be any stronger but I cannot explain the urgency and motivation that I have to help these Angels. I firmly believe my mission in life is to save the animals that share this beautiful planet I live on. That said, I am currently exploring my options to get any kind of student loans so that I can continue living in my house and not have to work so that I can go to school full time. I don't want to give up my dogs and am hoping I wont' have to wait until they pass to be able to go back to school. Because I have a business degree I will have to take the necessary undergraduate science courses to enable me to apply to the college of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M. My goal is to work in small and large animal veterinary medicine, specializing in neurology. I am open to any advice you can give me that will enable me to pursue my goal to become a Veterinarian.

later, I have accidentally am tired of my career as a tax accountant and

elizabeth   July 20th, 2010 11:39 pm ET

ive always wanted to return to college,,, unfortunately its not that easy to qualify for aid if your single, and employed,,,the system is drained by those who abuse it by changing majors,, time and time again....

Cathy   July 21st, 2010 1:13 am ET

After highschool, I put myself thought college and became a nurse. I worked my way from staff nurse to Clinical Nurse Leader over the course of ten years. Shortly after the birth of my first child, I became ill. No one knew what was wrong with me, except I was having a lot of problems with passing out and being unable to stand up for long periods of time. After four years of struggling with doctors appointments and treatments that did not work, I was diagnosed with POTS. It is a rare neurocardiogenic disease. After some time, it became debilitating and I was placed on disability. Within a month, my ex-husband and I separated and I became a disabled, mother of two with a heart condition that makes every day life very difficult.

I intend to go back to college for my English degree. I am fortunate that I have such a strong passion for writing and over the years, when I was confined to bed, I wrote five novels. I will pursue publication after I have the proper credentials, including my English degree, and also plan to work as an editor or a Literary Agent. I'd like to be an active contributor to society and I'd also like to provide a comfortable home for my two children. I am very lucky to have the opportunity at this time in my life to go back to school and pursue a career in an area I love so much.

Ashley   July 21st, 2010 10:58 am ET

My mother struggled with drug addction for a long time before it took her life when I was ten. Prior to that she would be so messed up I missed second and third grade. To avoid child services we moved to various cities between Tennessee and Alabama. When I was in the fifth grade ( 1 yr after her passing) I was on a second grade math and reading level and teachers suggested special education. My foster mother refused and with the help of a great teacher I caught up with my classmates and have been blessed to come this far. It was a miracle to graduate high school and a bigger miracle to graduate college. My older brother and myself took guardianship over my younger siblings. It was hard to play mom and big sis while juggling school and work. I'm ready to do it again and I wouldn't trade my situation for anything in this world. Now I have a degree but no job but I wont give up on my education. I will go to graduate school if it kills me.

John C.   July 21st, 2010 4:28 pm ET

I work at a retail store and have a degree from a Community College. However, I haven't got a job yet in my field of study (TV/Radio Programming). I thinking in about two years (if I still have a job) I could have enough money to go Connecticut School of Broadcasting and even then I don't know if I will have enough. I hope to work at a radio station maybe as a on-air talent.

Darlene   July 21st, 2010 11:57 pm ET

Hi , My name is Darlene and a 2 years ago I started by, going back to a community college for my directors course in Early Childhood Education. Then decided to get my bachelors degree since I already had a Associates degree. I have been doing this since I will try for my dual certificate so that I can have music and Early childhood Education. I since have been uneployed and started taking on more classes so that I can Graduate sooner.
There is only one problem with the feild That I took They are getting rid of so many teachers here in NJ. I hope that they bring them back by 2012 when I get my pk3 degree. I already put so much time and effort into this, not to mention the the loans I had to take.

Janet   July 22nd, 2010 7:57 am ET

I've been out of work for 9 months now. In the pharmaceutical industry the layoffs happen regularly, so last one in is the first one out. That's been me twice. I have a Bachelor's degree in English and want to get a Master's degree in Social Work so that I can help so many of the people that are suffereing from these bad times. All of this job training that we see on the Department of Unemployment is training designed for very minimally skilled workers, despite the Dept of Unemployment saying differently. The DUI has a rule that if you are going to school, then you are not looking for work full-time. It makes no sense to me. This seems like it would be a perfect time to get my Master's degree, but it's just another rule that does not make any sense for the unemployed people. There is no possible way that an unemployed worker can spend 8 hours a day applying to jobs because there are not often that many jobs out there to apply for. Why can't I go to school and further my education??? Just because I already have an undergrad degree?? I'm very discouraged because I can't find a job, despite my best efforts and I'm being told I can't go to school.

Kat   July 22nd, 2010 8:52 am ET

I lost my job last year and was approached by my state to go back to school. At 52 years old, it was a brave decision to do so. One year later, due to Congress going out to play twice in 60 days, my so called assistance to go back to school was pulled! Now what? I am a sophomore in college! Guess what Ben Stein? If I have to work two jobs like I have my whole life rather than rely on th system, you bet I will. As far as school, I changed my major to what I want to do, not what I was told I had to do to qualifiy for this ridiculous program, that gets you in the door then pulls the rug out from under you! It would have been nice to have some support! Love you guys! Kat

Kat   July 22nd, 2010 8:57 am ET

Pauline Barbadillo, you are in my prayers! Kiss that daughter of yours! CNN, you need to have a way to reply to people that arehurting so that they may be encouraged! Pauline i just turned 53 and am back in college! Y9ou can do it! I am your personal cheerleader! Kat

Susan   July 22nd, 2010 9:22 am ET

Hi! I want to go back to college to finish my bachelor's degree (at least!). I started college while I was still in high school, over 20 years ago, and I started working and going to school. After a while, I couldn't keep up the hectic schedule, then just kept on working, working, working... In 2008, I was laid off from a great job at a national retailer, and I decided to start my own business. Now I have the time to go back to school, but not the funds. What a quandary! I hate the idea of taking out loans, and I can't seem to qualify for any grants. I feel so stuck but want in the worst way to complete my education. Help!!!

Scott Marsolek   July 22nd, 2010 10:46 am ET

Robin and Jane, I am one of the long term unemployed and was laid of in May 2009. I have 20+ experience in construction management and administration and most recently was the construction project manager for The MGHerring Groupin Dallas and was just completing the Village at Fairview and Allen. This was a project nearing a billion dollars. As you are well aware, the construction industry has really taken a hit in this economy and is near a 30% unemployment rate in the industry. My issue become that there are very few construction jobs out there to begin with, there a 500 applications submitted for every job that is posted and I too am told I am over qualified much of the time. I too am not asking for the world, I just want to work as others say. I could not have survived to date without the current unemployment assistance I recieved. The jobs are not there!

I am not working a lazy free ride, as many of your viewers have said and have to imagine that these people spewing this are not currently in my situation. Ben Stein is full of it and is painting a sweeping view of the situation, which is not the reality of the situation. I have also heard the arguement from recruiters that many potential employers stipulate to the recruiters, that they do not want to interview anyone that is not currently working. There is a perception that since we were laid off, that we are some how inferior members of the working class. I always have done well in my job and in my field and am respected in the industry.

Construction jobs are NOT coming back soon

I now believe I am a dislocated worker meaning the jobs in my industry are not going to come back soon and I need to get retrained.

I am currently financially destitude and will have difficulty attaining loans or funding to go back to school.

The trick for me is that I plan to go into an industry that has a great demand and immedite quick turn around of 8 months on training.

It is the UDT program at the Ocean Corporation and it is the commercial diving, welding, NDT inspections.

The demand iis great, pays well, is a field that not many others are unwilling to do and there will always be a need.

The problem now becomes that I can not get a loan or financing to go back to school to train due to being destitude financially. I can not match the required amount that the fafsa is requiring for me to train?
If I go back to school, then my unemployment benefits that put a rented room roof over my head and food in my mouth would disappear?

Now I am really stuck?

Kathy   July 23rd, 2010 8:14 am ET

do you know of any aid for adults going back to school. It is for my son. He has gotten a PELL grant to pay for his schooling, he would just need some funding to survive while going to school. He is living with frinends. The problem is he was in prision and because of this he is having a hard time getting work to supplement his income.

Justin   July 23rd, 2010 11:53 am ET

Hello, I have run into the wall with a problem. you see Im trying to go back to college. Ive never rented an apartment before but I have been Granted: Student Loans, FIn aid, and grants. the problem is that most apartments I have been to wont accept my grants loans and Fin aid as income. and then the require a co-signer which I can not get. this means I either rent something fr around $950 + or Drop out. If I have to I will rent that $950 condo.

now something is really wrong here! if you think about it, there really is no protection for the Government and college students that have Gave you and us The students to use the Government Money Appropriately.

To me this is Discrimination and a way to Dis-Continue Education. and also, if Students have to take Hud or Section-8 instead of better Housing well, look at the facts they have Extra Money for parties. if this law were in tact, just maybe the real College students could Live and Study.

what do you think on this? could I say that I am being blocked from an education?

tammy breeden   July 23rd, 2010 8:18 pm ET

I am a licensed practical nurse. I am now 37 yrs old. I am one of 9 children and none of them with the exception of myself have a high school diploma. I took my GED exam when i was 16 then worked as a nursing assistant and spent many years caring for my disabled mother then eventually paid for my own education and sent myself to school for my LPN license. I come from a very poor family. I am now a wife, and a mother of a five yr hyper little boy. I also have diabetes, but i will NEVER give up on my dream of continuing my education to become a registered nurse. My employer does pay for tuition reimbursement based on grade, but the difficult part of course, like any other mother is trying to be a mother and a wife and work full time and finishing up my degree. I have taken a few prereq.'s throughout the last few years, but i cant seem to manage to just involve myself and get it done and i am getting older. I will never give up. It will happen in my life time. I may be the only 80 year old LPN in RN school, but it will happen. Thanks for listening.

James Best   July 23rd, 2010 8:46 pm ET

I've wanted to go to college for a long time now but I live on a fixed income since I have spina bifida. I can barely afford to live, let alone go to college.

Cara Godlewski   July 24th, 2010 7:24 pm ET

I was an addict for 17 plus years. After completing my 13th and final rehab, one in which I was sentenced too for 1 year, I claim 4 plus years sobriety. I have 2 little boys under the age of 3 and a wonderful boyfriend who fathered the both of them. Due to my criminal history background I can't utilize my college degree in Elementary Education. I have since returned to college to acheive my A.A.S in Chemical Dependency Counseling. So far I have managed to maintain a 4.0 G.P.A. It has been a dream of mine to further my education and help others in the field of addiction. In order to earn a higher income I need to have a Bachelor's in the Human Service field. I learned through the community college I'm attending right now that I could put together a credit package and go to Empire State College to earn this other degree, problem is....I'm broke. I also owe money to the govn't from previous loans so I'm not eligible for financial aid. I have been blessed by my brother's assistance thus far to further my education. It would be amazing if you could send me back to school to earn my Bachelor's. Thank you and may God Bless.

Michele Johnson   July 26th, 2010 1:38 pm ET

I graduated from High School in 1982 and married immediately because of an abusive childhood. The first few years of my marriage I spent in counseling and working two jobs. I got pregnant and 22 and at the age of 6 months my son became ill with a Hypogammaglobianemia or an Immune Deficiency. Until the age of 17 he was in the hospital or under at home nursing care for his illness. As he was entering high school I went thru my 2nd divorce and still was not able to go to college. I struggled financially just to keep our household running. I was able to find a good steady job that paid the bills. I worked that job until I received a managerial position in another city 4 years ago. I then was laid off 1 year ago and have been struggling ever since.
I want more than anything to attend college and earn a degree and better my own life circumstances. When I lost my job last April i had to move in with my son and his family becuase I lost my home. Thankfully I have been working temporary jobs but it will take me many years to recover. Furthering my education woul better my life in many ways and help me to rebuild my self-esteem.

Susan Law   July 26th, 2010 4:41 pm ET

I attend a private university and I am disabled. I live off of social security disability. I never registered with the CSD because it was an online program, and I did not feel the need. However, recently I have been harassed by a student that claims to practice law. She has threatened me, and made some very derogatory remarks about the handicapped and disabled. I have begged her to stop many times. And, on at least three occasions asked her politely to stop harassing me. Also, I have discussed the situation with professors, advisers, and asked for a formal investigation into this matter. This woman will one day be an administrator, which bothers me because of her comments such as this one:

"Do you agree with these recommendations?

I absolutely do; however, because there are people that cannot use the Internet, does not mean the Internet is a good option. We passed the handicap law so people who were handicap would have access to public buildings; therefore, we spend billions of dollars to make sure of this; however, we spend that kind of money so two people can get into public building (and yes I am exaggerating) but why not just hire two big guys to carry the people in? That’s cheaper than retrofitting public buildings. The government agencies are not going to hire two big people to just carry them in because the law says that those buildings need 100% access, and you see what that costs the government and the states, and mostly the states, because it’s an unfunded mandate that those building be retrofitted, however, in terms of the dollars spent for access per person, if the government and states spent as much money on you or I, that they spend per handicap person, I personally would be rich. So there is no distribution media that is 100% that people have access to."

My disability is fear of people I suffer from PTSD, sleep disorders, panic attacks, shingles on my optic nerve, and severe vomiting that is usually accompanied by overnighters in the hospital until it can be stopped. This started in 2004, when I worked for a fortune 500 company where four men came after me at my work station. The case was Law v Parker Hannifin. And, my mother was fondled, held down by two men and the story goes on from there.

About a year ago, I decided that I was not going to let this beat me and I enrolled in a private online university. I'm making the dean's list each semester. But, I am being harassed by a fellow student. And, I am afraid of her. I am being asked to write a 3 page paper for each class I miss. Weekly seminar is worth 5 points out 1000 total. Basically a three page paper for me will be worth 5 points. I have went all the way up the chain of command at the college. I even asked for a formal investigation into the discussion board,which administration said took place. When I asked for the the report and findings I was told that in fact a formal investigation did not take place. Well, that depends on who one speaks to at the university. Each of them have contradicted themselves. I have all the documentation that has taken place between the school and myself. Also, I was polite and not negative with anyone. If you or someone you know can help me straighten out this mess, I would be grateful. Also, great show, and I'm glad you have a love of animals.

Educational yours,

Jasmine   July 27th, 2010 6:56 am ET

I was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex when I was 4 years old. I have been in the hospital twice for seizures due to epilepsy; my first one happened when i was in first grade and my second one occurred in third grade. I have not had any grand mal seizures since. However, Epilepsy for me has not gone away. I still have 'auras' (partial simple seizures).
It was in 6th grade in the year of 2000 when I underwent cutaneous laser surgery which is performed on my face. I have had that done for a total of 10 years now. In July of 2004, I had my first partial nephrectomy (kidney surgery on my right kidney to remove angiomyolipomas) before I started 10th grade. Following that I was diagnosed with bronchitis in January 2007 and was out of school for 2 weeks. When I returned to school, I was juggling 8 classes (4 classes to make up along with the current). That went until the end of the school year, some points I wasn't sure I was going to make graduation.

I did make it and got my 1st job and started a college class in the fall of 2007. It all ended too quickly with the devastating news that I needed to have 2 partial nephrectomies (kidney surgeries) with one in November of 2007 on my left kidney and the other on my right kidney in January of 2008. All leading up to a total of 3 surgeries. I wasn't told directly to my face but I was forced to put my education on hold and to quit my job.
It has taken me 2 years to recover from the stress of these surgeries as well as the devastations. I was also stuck with being forced to move in a time when I was very mentally sensitive (as a cause of overhaul of surgeries, I suffer from anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder)

My dream is to work in criminal justice but I am still trying to getback in the game but it is hard. I also have a dream to teach people about my condition tuberous sclerosis complex.

April of 2010 was my 21st birthday. I chose to educate myself rather than go out and party because I lost a lot of time due to being in the hospital. I boarded a flight with my dad at 530am at the Minneapolis airport. It was a 5 hour flight to Washington DC on a beautiful day. It was the first night that we were in Washington DC. I had made appointments to meet Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN). Both senators were very generous. They were busy but they wanted to meet me as I did them. I had my picture taken with both. I wanted to meet them but that wasn't my main goal. My main goal was to spread awareness about Tuberous Sclerosis. I wanted to spread it to politicians because they are in a different light then I am.
Now, when I wrote the letter to meet with both of the senators I had introduced myself in the letter and I had given a very short summary of what my academic life has been like and how tuberous sclerosis has impacted it. I stated my name along with my father who is one of the commanders at Saint Paul Police Department and that I was going to be attending Washington DC with him because my dad has been to Washington DC many times before. I also stated that I graduated high school on time and a few months right after I was suppose to start my ‘new life’ that it all had come crashing down after receiving news that I had to have kidney surgery on both of my kidneys. Also stated in the letter was my interest in political science. He was willing to take the time out of his very busy schedule to meet me and I found that to be very uplifting. It was nice to find out that such a busy politician was willing to take the time to hear my life story of 21 years crunched down into a 5 minute introduction. it is a constant struggle to try and get back in the game because I won't feel like i am living life to the fullest without an education let alone I can't get by without an education.

Jonathan Ft. Lauderdale   July 28th, 2010 11:00 am ET

I am a statistic that has been overlooked and left out of any possibility of getting student loans to better myself through changing my career path that needs more school to achieve. I went to SAIC, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and achieved my MFA. I had made a move to Florida to help my elderly ailing father with cancer and have not been able to find any job based off of my Master of Fine Art. Therefor always would be under-employed. I was following my heart and excelled to the top as a studio artist, sculptor and painter, Who needs one of those? I then got involved in real estate and did well until, as we all know the market dropped out and I lost all my income. I then had become a burden upon my parents financially instead of helping them. I am in a home that is deep underwater and want to go back to school. Because I have a large sum of loans from my undergraduate studies as well as my masters degree I cannot get anymore financial aid to go back to school for just an associates degree in medicine. I don't have enough to stay above water as it is and then I have to pay out of pocket if I wanted to better myself with more education. I don't seem to match up with any grants either. My program I wanted to go into costs around $35,000 – 40,000 and I could maybe afford a 1/4 of that but because I have a masters degree I cannot get anymore loans and cannot better myself through education. I was hoping to go into medical diagnostic sonography or Occupational Therapy to help with my other passion for helping others. No help for me!
Jonathan Ft. Lauderdale

marie culver   August 9th, 2010 9:19 am ET

i have been wanting to go back to school for a few years but i have been in a divorce which broke me financialy. my job has cut back my hours due to my maternity leave and recent health problems. And i have four children who I am trying to raise on my own 2000 miles away from my own family so they can be close to their fathers. i have had many obsitcals in the last 5 years that has prevented me from returning to school. including the passing of my father, my divorce, an unexpected pregnancy, getting remarried, working many hours to try an climb the company ladder to latter get knocked back down, unexpected legal fees, and medical bills that weren't covered under insurance.

Carole   August 9th, 2010 12:46 pm ET

After becoming pregnant my junior year of high school, and having my son during my senior year, I dropped out of high school. Long story short, I took the GED test and received my diploma the same time that I was supposed to graduate. Afterward, I attented Berks Technical Institute for Professional Massage Therapy. I thought it would be a successful and flexible career for a person in my situation. Being a Massage Therapist is not for everyone, and so it was not for me. After a few years of being a stay at home mother while continuously being turned down at job interviews, I decided it was time for me to go back to school. At 22, I finally started my classes at Reading Area Community College. I am majoring in Psychology – and have developed a deep passion for helping others in need. I feel this is my calling, not just for the money, but for the rewarding career I've always wanted.

Federal Grants and financial aid have allowed me to pursue my career, and when my college career has come to an end, I will have a large amount of debt to pay off, but it will be well worth it.

Diana Moore   August 10th, 2010 8:11 pm ET

I went to college about a year after high school. I found personal freedom way too compelling and I did very poorly in my studies. I have since gotten married and had three kids. I lost my mom to cancer about eight years ago, and I just recently lost my dad. In the hospice unit my dad was in, I witnessed some of the most compassionate and hard working people. I have always wanted to be a nurse, and I feel that this is my path. I want to go back to college very much, and right now I am trying to get admitted. It's hard because of my awful gpa when I was young. I hope every young person realizes the opportunity they are presented with when they go to college. I wish I had!

kyle   August 11th, 2010 6:58 pm ET

My educational background has been shakey since day one. My father is in the military and traveling from country to country, dealing with divorce, I have had to adapt to many teachers, curriculums, and students, along with the surrounding culture. I finally graduated from Lakenheath HS, a DoDea (Department of Defense educational association) school, after two years of attendance after moving from another HS in Rhode Island. At that time in my life choices were more obvious and decisions needed to be made, but I was still unsure of where life was going to take because, well it had never been anything like structured and I had never had a "focus" to be anything in particular (had some ideas of course but not as to where I could learn and be inspired by it through education in College). I settled for a cheap school to get started on figuring out what I wanted, how i could make money throughout my life and be financially independant. Through a games design course at the Community College of Rhode Island, I slowly dwindled as more life events piled on; working in fast food, finding time and resources to comprehend/complete work, meeting people to have some type of social life, and finally the death of family members. I stopped attending college feeling that despite all my effort I was not getting anywhere, I was not learning anything that would help me reach my goals. I have recently moved back in with my father and we have moved to las vegas, I am looking for a job and feel as though there is no hope for a financially successful future, I desire to accomplish so much and learn much more than me 2 years ago, I am only 21, and I see how impossible it is to have an education, a higher education, without oweing money, having a wealthy family, or having a lucurative job. I want to learn and go to college and find what my future is meant to be.

ESMIRA PEHLIC   August 13th, 2010 7:36 am ET

I want go to college,I work full time job and I'm mom to seven year old son but the problem is my divorce is not done.I'm divorsing for three long years and still is on.what I need to do?

Phillip Semprini   August 13th, 2010 4:54 pm ET

I would enjoy getting back into school. Right now, I have an Associates degree. I wish I would hav e pursued a Bachelors degree right after I finished my other degree. For the last 2 years I have been looking for a full-time position. I worked some temporary jobs and I have a part-time job. The part-time job is outside the county where I live and is around a 20 minute drive away for minimum wage. That business has been on a hiring freeze for well over a year.
Right now there is a company that I guess is reviewing my background and then they will direct me to take a drug test. This position is around a half hours drive without traffic but 3 months down the road I can get benefits.
I will enjoy being able to finish a bachelors degree in Human Services in a 1 years program, along witht the 2 other classes I have. It is not easy getting through life like this especially with myself suffering a Severe Traumaic Brain Injury 12 years ago. I am not going to give up. I was inspired to write a poem by the special ed. students I was around and I recite that poem to motivate myself. It is entitled, "Why give up?".

Marci'a   August 15th, 2010 9:49 pm ET

I wish i could return to school and begin the next chapter of my life. i am a single mom and I have NO family within hundreds of miles of us. I came to this State in 1991 to help my godmother during a very difficult time in her life; and attend the college here. I was promised a lot of help from her if I agreed to come here to go to school, and I did not get that help. After my first semester I had to start working which became the most important thing to her. I then had to take loans that i didnt need except to pay her for my living with her. School was quickly pushed to the backburner. I moved out but that made working full time more important to me. I tried so hard not to give up on school ans knew I would never make it back if i quit totally. So i re-enrolled part-time. I got married and made it to nursing school with a lot of help from my husband. We got divorced; and living on my own meant I had to start working full-time once again. Well, I met someone else then became pregnant. Now I am a single mom and I just cant seem to catch a break. I've had "friends" who would not keep their promise to babysit or simply could'nt commit. Finally, I returned to school about a year and a half ago with the help of a friend. That friend has a serious health condition and that made it difficult for me to continue. My friend could only help on one night, the night i went to school, but not during the week when I had papers to research, and/or write. Helping my own little man with his math and doing all of my motherly and domestic duties, while working a full time job made it too stressful for me to continue. Not to mention scheduling and attending doctor's appointments, going grocery shopping, supporting my child in and at his school, doing fun things with him to keep his childhood a happy one, etc., etc. I feel like a one man show.... Needless to say, It is hard to get back to school. Doing so would make life a little easier as I would be able to get a better job and afford a real and reliable childcare professional.

Veronica   August 18th, 2010 12:18 am ET

I'm a single mother, who had a disabling stroke in 2oo8. I worked for over 33 years and made sure that my sons, would receive the best education that my money would buy. I'm the oldest of 9 siblings, one brother died in 2006 at age 44 of cancer. There were 7 fathers between us, and my mother, (Died 12/24/2001) was the greatest mother in the world who worked hard to keep us together and made sure that each of us graduated from High School. We had a Mother's Love that could never be measured. We knew that each of us were special and unique. As a child and until I was about 13 years old, we moved from pillow to post, everytime the rent was due. I was an honor student, who attended 8 schools before I graduated high school. My oldest son, is a Master Sergeant in the USAF, has 1 Associate Degree, 2 Bachelors and is working on his Master's, with 18 !/2 years serving the US. My youngest, is attending TN State University in the Master's Program with Honors, and he works part-time too. It is my desire to return to college after dropping out more than 29 years ago, to take care of my sons. Because of my illnesses, my income and spirit was also broken into half. It is my desire to return to college and graduate Cum Laude. I've tried to enroll in a community college here in TN, but they have been dropping the ball with my financial aid. I began in March making preparation to go to college, including taking many of my childhood shots over again, that are now required, because the record wasn't available. At this point it is very frustrating to get so close and to be blocked because of poor administration and lack of staffing at the College. I'm DETERMINED to return to college, no matter what, not the 25 pills daily, the weakness in my degenerative bones, not the chronic pain, poor circulation, monthly(LITTLE) disability check, repoed car, bankruptcy, no health insurance or the sometimes slow memory. I want my sons to be proud of me, because I pushed them and they want me to do the same. I am a winner and Cancer Survivor of 32 years. This is not just an obstacle, but another test, in my many TESTAMONIES, that I Can Do All Things Through Christ, That Strengthen Me. I am going to be one of the greatest, Medical Administrators, when I graduate from college.

Amy Headrick   August 18th, 2010 11:00 am ET

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was two years old. I had a hard time with friends and teachers throughout my entire school career. I moved to Florida where I found a part time job that lasted about three months. Now my fiance and I are living with his mother and have been for the past 2 years. I've found myself pregnant, a juvenile diabetic, and jobless because of my lack of experience schooling and my current pregnancy. I've also applied for government assistance and been turned down for everything except medical insurance for the baby, not for my diabetic needs though. Today, for me, having a major medical condition costs more than ever, but is not considered enough to either receive government issued help OR any kind of help for that matter. I've been trying to go to school and have been turned down for financial aid numerous times. It seems as though I'm running out of choices and may end up having to be homeless and childless.

Samantha Bradley   August 20th, 2010 9:58 am ET

I am taking a big step and going back too school. I'm planning on going to school for my Mass Communications Degree. I know it will be super hard and take lots of hard work and I know I can achieve one of my biggest goals! I am planning on keeping both of my jobs and going back to school. I'm a very determined teen and know what I want to achieve in life. I believe both Robin and Jane have been huge role models and I really look up to both of them! Thanks for inspiring me!!! =]


Jennifer Carpenter   August 21st, 2010 3:54 pm ET

I dropped out of college before I ever really began! I did so to help my dad with the bills. Now, at 26, with two kids and a husband, I would love to go back to school, but can't afford to. I work a full-time job to support my family, and can't seem to find time to go back. If I could work part-time and go to school, I would totally go! I can't quit work completely because my husband is in the construction business and we never know when a "slow season" may approach. We have plenty of bills to pay, and would love to go to school to hopefully get a better paying job. I have been accepted to the University of Georgia twice (so I know I have the "smarts") but it's time management and finances that are my hold up! Please help!

ikeya   August 31st, 2010 11:47 pm ET

hi, im a 20 year old college drop out. But i can explain. My mom is a single mother of 6 children. she struggled for many years to take care of all of us but she did an great job because my family and i has made it this far, of course with God help. With prayer we are strong enough to make it threw a lot. as a young kid i thought things wasnt that bad until i made it to high school. then the pressure just built on me more and more. seeing my mom cry and struggle i had to take action to help her out so i found a part time job at burger king. sacraficing my whole check to help pay bills. I wasnt the best dressed in school or the most popular. it was hard and i bust my butt and worked soo hard to finish school because i had dreams of getting my family out of the struggle and being a positive role model. i worked so hard that the day i went to pick out my prom dress i past out in the middle of the mall. But came the day when i walked across the stage my family was so proud because i was the second one to graduate high school. and i worked so hard to make it there. before my grandmother past i was able to graduate and make her proud. Well after high school i wanted to move on to college but did not have the money to or the support that i really needed. so when i did get into college with a grant and some student loans i went and gave up because i became discouaged because i didnt have transportation or money. I was working then. right after work ill have to take public transportation. a half hour ride to school. i was draining myself i know im strong but getting off of working a long day and going straight to school for four hours and turning around and doing it all again made me really exhausted. so my grades slowly started to shift and i got so stressed and i just cried and got discouraged and i tried so hard to keep on going but i finally gave in and i dropped out. i regret it. I feel like i am strong and i can do anything i put my mind to but now i owe money and i dont think ill have a chance to finish where i left off. i made a choice and now i have to live with the concequences. but i am ready to become a business women that i know i am to be one day and hopefully soon. thanx for listening

Lori   September 1st, 2010 9:58 pm ET

I went back to college in 1995 after spending a year in prison for a murder I did not commit. I got 3 BA degress all at the same time (yes, I had a triple major). I then went on to Law School, but had to drop out as my grades slipped when my mother took ill, as did my daughter. I never managed to return. I want to go back for my Masters Degree but am now battling old demons, meaning my drug addiction, which has reared its ugly head after 15 years. It has cost me a job and my livelihood, which would have made it easier to go back to school. I was also on the verge of getting my CADC in NJ thru my employer when they fired me. I had 1 more class to go. I also have a disabled daughter who relies on me and now instead of working on school and my sobriety, I have to look for work in this horrible economy.

Patrick   September 2nd, 2010 11:05 am ET

I am a father of one little girl in that i don't have custody of her mother got caught with meth in her system and she no longer has custody her dad does.For two years now ive been trying to get imployed working with the fatherhood program got my ged and started going to college for networking specialist in witch i was in my second quarter.Iwas makeing 2 payments every three months with my grant money but now chss has stopped working with me and said i must pay every payment on time now or jail i found out after they locked me up for 178 bucks after i have already paid them im having to quit school to try to find work to pay the 340 dollar a month payment.I have applied to every fast food place around and all other places i can find and don't know what else to do.My father was recently diagnosed with cancer and is getting sicker by the day so im trying my best to handle his affairs and needs also With that said i am getting to a breaking point in witch i am considering killing myself but i know it will only bring more bad news to my family and will not.With that said i need help I want to work but no one will hire me.PLEASE HELP! My dreams of making a future for my daughter and my self is up in smoke since Css wont let me stay in school.If anyone has a job or advice to help in my case please give me a call 770-406-3922.I am hard worker and loyal and i have already completed my first quarter in networking specialist diploma program.

Dianne   September 6th, 2010 8:44 am ET

At 46 years old, I finally know what I want to be when I "grow up." Without guidance in the '80s, I got a communications degree but didn't have a passion for any type of work. Now, I know that I want to work with rescued animals. I have started taking one class a semester at the local community college in biology and environmental science (the closest I can get to animal studies in this area). I work full time and have a son, so going full time or going away to college is not an option. To gain hands-on experience, I volunteer for a local farm animal sanctuary for neglected and abused horses and farm animals. I fear that by the time I get my degree, I won't be physically able to work with the animals. Oh, to win the lottery!

Jessy and The boys in Greenville ,WV   September 8th, 2010 10:02 am ET

I am a single, working mother of 3 boys ages 8,10,and 12 years of age that has went back to college full time!10 years ago I quit to raise my boys, but after getting divorced and struggling for years I decided to take a chance and go for it. With the help of financial aid , a patient boss,and good family ,I will be graduating in the spring with a bachelors in Wildlife Biology!! It has been very difficult, but will be worth it in the end. I will be able to support my boys and give them a comfortable life without struggling anymore. I say GO FOR IT!!!

NENA CAMARENA   September 8th, 2010 2:49 pm ET

Yes, I have a story for you. I'm a single parent of two and back in 2006 I was attending Truckee Meadows Community College, and I will admit that was a bad, rough year for me. I did however, receive a pell grant for the semester and then dropped the classes. I received two checkds from TMCC and sent both those checks back as, I was not entiled to them since I had dropped the classes. Things have turned around for me, and was so excited about returning to school to finish what I started. All my financial aid had been paid back for the 2006 year and things were looking great, until I was put on a financial hold from the school, TMCC saying I owe them 576.24 even though I sent those checks back and they were posted to the account. Now, I am back to square one. My financial for the year was granted but sitting there doing nothing. TMCC would not bend at all to allow me to register and pay them back in payments while attending!!

Teresa Marie   September 9th, 2010 1:41 pm ET

I have finally landed a dream job. Too bad it's not my dream job.
I have always wanted to be a veterinarian, but sadly lacked the confidence to pursue the dream. Now, at the age of 43, I'm just too stinking old, and have too many responsibilities to leave my job and go to college.
Sadly, I can not have children, but my many animals and my husband are my family. I have rescued many handicapped and abandoned animals, which require extensive medical knowledge to care for. My local veterinarian even asks me, what is your diagnosis?, when I bring a pet in for evaluation. My vet said I would have made a great veterinarian, I suppose I would have to agree, and that is just depressing.
It's really sad when you finally find the courage to pursue a dream and it's not financially possible and just too stinking late.

Marsha Hausmann   September 14th, 2010 7:00 am ET

Hi !
I am a non-traditional student and have been enrolled at Blackriver Tehnical College for 2 1/2 years. I had a great job that I loved but it was fazed out when the econimy went bad. I decided to go back to school and enter into the nursing field. I first completed a 4 week course to become a Certified Nursing Assistant so I could work while going to school.
Things went very good for the first six semesters I went to college, but this semester the college has changed their financial aid program. They have switched to what they call a Direct Loan format and it has not been benifical to the students. Our un-subsidised loans were despensed to the college by loan transfer, we recived notification from the new loan company that our loan had been dispersed and intrest began being charged on the 8th of September, we have not recived our money as of today,September 14th and have no definant date of when we can expect the money. If a student goes to the window were we got our checks in the past, the woman is very rude and condecending. The bank and the school is earning intrest on our money but we have no idea when we will recive it. The school also charges a fee on our loans and grants, I suppose this is a handleing fee, it just doesn't make sense to me,this seems to be way more than double dipping!!
The students are very disgruntled and it seems to be building up to a confrontation.I just want to get an education but worry each day of class that someone may do something stupid, after all we have stress (tests), impolite people and with holding of funds that the students need to meet obligations.

michelle   September 16th, 2010 8:57 am ET

I was raised by a mental ill, drug addicted father. Physical abuse was the norm. The sexual abuse became hard because love and punishment hurt just the same. After awhile I learned if I just coronation I was a good girl and praised for it. I was taken from him at 10 because of drugs. I went to live with mom. There all the abuse con tuned,but became more frequent. I finally took off. Then foster homes came in to play. Now strangers who were to perfect me were touching me. After a few tries I was free. On the streets of los angles I meet a man, he offered me money to take pitchers of me. As I was more confer table he introduced me to dancing. With all the knowledge I already had of how to please men this seem to come natural. I started to do meth to numb myself. Soon I did it just to be with myself. I had 2 miscarriages by 16. I had 2 children by 20. I did get my ged when I was 19. The drugs caused me to lose my family. Now single with 2 kids, no education what next. Well many physically abusive encounters with men we have been through hell. My kids are grown now and I have no experience or education. So I am trying to go to collage. Because of a learning disability and mental illness I am freaking out and afraid of frailer.

Douglas Dubin   September 16th, 2010 9:15 am ET

My wife and I were attending college 22 years ago when our oldest daughter was born. After taking care of her and then two more girls, my wife decided to finish her Bachelor degree, but I never had the opportunity due to the needs of our daughters growing up. Back in 2006 I realized, if I was to be able to get a job I would need to complete my education. In November of 2006 my wife was diagnosed with stage four Breast Cancer, she spent the next two and half years in and out of surgery, radiation and chemo over 1700 miles away from home. I stayed home to take care of the girls and try to keep them focused and moving forward. During this period, I was lucky enough to have online education through MSU. Through all the stress of not being with my wife and trying to maintain the girls lives as normal as possible, I finally reached my Bachelor degree. I was approached by one of my mentoring professors who encouraged me to obtain my Master's degree. As my wife still lived over 1700 miles away and jobs were scarce I applied, was accepted and worked at a very rapid pace to achieve my MS. My wife's cancer is now being controlled through chemo treatments every two weeks, but she can live at home. The treatments are taken 60 miles from our house and monthly meetings with a doctor over 250 miles away. To complete my education and hopefully put me in a position to educate other adults, I am looking toward a Phd in Adult Learning. My challenge is again the job market is practically non-existent within 90 miles from our home and the University is a six hour drive. We cannot afford to live on campus and we have expired 90% of our savings trying to survive.
I am motivated to gain the necessary information and hope to get a job teaching others and would like to work in private industry, training as well as teaching at a community college.

Kaila   September 20th, 2010 6:15 pm ET

I have been stuggling to put my self through school, due to both parents not working and never making over 9,000.00 a year. My mother is a single parent who raised five kids all on her own. Yes im a child that was raised off welfare and jobs that would pay under the table just to survive. My long time goal is to become an Registered Nurse in the field of pediatrics oncology. Im only 21 and work very hard towards my dreams. I have two jobs to pay for school loans, food gas and helping around the house for my mother. Ive hit a hard spot as of right now I need to go to school full time but can not afford to quit my jobs, im so close to my goal but yet so far away. I dont have any one to help me out finacially but my own self. I do plan to work harder maybe pick up a thrid job at night time to help pay off all my debt so I can afford to go to school and quit my jobs. If there is an easier way of going about my situation please let me know im always all ears for advice.

Cheryl   September 23rd, 2010 8:53 pm ET

I am 51 years old and the single mother of two boys. My youngest who is 14 has severe cerebral palsy and requires 24 hour care. He has a form of cerebral palsy called spastic quadraplegia and is non-ambulatory. Both my boys are my angels. I am trying to go back to school to get my Associates degree. I have to get a generalized degree because I cannot leave the home to attend any specialized field. I live in a small town in Colorado that is one hour each way from school so I need to take my classes online. I have submitted my application for Spring semester and will be taking 2 classes at a time because of the amount of hours required per class. My son with CP goes to school two days a week which will allow me to study during that time. I pray he has a healthy year this year. Last year he was hospitalized two times. I am excited to start learning again. In addition to getting my Associates degree I am interested in going to an online Paralegal school. Looks like I will be busy. To me the busier I am, the better. I love learning.

Sandra Joseph   September 30th, 2010 10:36 am ET

i dont know where to begin. im originally from haiti and a 29 yr old mother of 3 children(10,7,5). 10 yrs ago i obtain an associate in medical assistant where i could of obtain my nursing degree. i guess i didnt know any better then. I've been having a hard time to find a job ever since. but i work for agency on calls.5yrs ago i decided to go back to school and come to find out all my credits weren't transferable. so i had to start from the bottom. i must admit being in school and raising 3children on my own is hard. i overcome the shelter lifestyle but was forced to go on welfare just to keep a roof over our heads. during the time i was engaged in my education, i was diagnose wit LGCC and i had to do a major surgery to remove the ab-normal cells. which caused me to fail a few classes. and since i wasnt working, i had no means to retaking those classes over. and my balance has exceeded the amount. welfare case was closed due to the fact that i exceeded the maximum time and they werent able to help me in anyway possible. Right now 2010- im still looking for a job, and im receiving unemployment. I WISH I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. I APPLY FOR THE FREE LPN PROGRAM AND I DONT KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO. I TRIED TO GET A LOAN TO PAY OF THE $1500. BALANCE I OWE FINANCIAL AID BUT I WAS DENIED. I EVEN WROTE TO OE INREGARDS TO GETTING QUALIFY FOR THEIR UPCOMING PROGRAMS, I WAS DENIED. i dont know what to do with myself, i know the only way out this struggle is through education and i want to have a career in my hands fr the sake of my children and for my respect. it's really hard for me, i literally cry and wonder if at any given time my con ed bill will be shut off, if my foodstamp will be delayed, god forbid one of my children needs something. sometimes i wish i had listen to my mother and gone away to college instead of moving in with my bf who at the time was 14yrs older then me, and today is no where to be found. sometimes i feel so alone in this world, like theres no one to run to, no one understands nor is willing to help. my faith in the lord is what keeps me going everyday. I know one day he will help me overcome this battle. I trully dont ask for much in life, i cant be greedy but one thing i desire is the opportunity to go back to school. i have no idea what the future brings. i dont have money in checking account, a dont have a car, a house and i dont have a future. i was pondering on going back to welfare if they willing able to pay of my balance and send me back to school for another 2years to finish my RN degree. but i can only hope and pray on it. thank you for hearing my cry!

A.S.   October 3rd, 2010 1:58 pm ET

I graduated high school in '98 and married my then sweetheart that same year. I started college when we separated in 2002. That same year, I was a terrible car crash when I fell asleep driving. I suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as other minor injuries. I have been trying to finish my undergrad degree off and on since and will finally be graduating, god-willing, with a bachelor's in philosophy at the end of this semester. I am also currently working on applications to graduate programs in philosophy. It's been a bumpy road at times, but nothing is too much of a challenge when there's something you really want.

Lisa Winter   November 3rd, 2010 4:33 am ET

I am a 47 year old single mother & LVN. In 2003 I received a work injury that has put into early retirement.I have RSDS in my r. Side of my body. Because the point of origin is the knee I can no longer pound the concrete full-time. I want to go back to school so I can take the RN boards. This. Would enable me to find a position that I can work full-time without having to pound the pavement. I can't get any help. Because I'm already a nurse & have a marketable skill. My children & I are slowly drowning. We need so much help. We join those other families that fall between the cracks. I have never asked for much, I just want to be able to provide for my children..& at the same time re-enter a field that has a great shortage

Stacey   November 4th, 2010 9:47 pm ET

I was attending spartanburg community college and had to drop out because I herniated 2 of my lower back discs and got severe sciatica. Now that I am healed enough to start back I cant afford the 1200 dollar charge to get enrolled again.

C. O.   November 12th, 2010 6:26 am ET

I am 25 years old and would love to go back to school. Less than 6 months after my 16th birthday my brothers and I were put into foster care. I stayed there until I graduated high school and was reunited with my mother and the older of my two younger brothers for a few months before it was time for me to start my adventure in college. I took summer courses which went fairly well and was geared up to start the fall semester. Not far into the academic year and tragedy struck my family. My youngest brother; only seven years old at the time was involved in a motor vehicle accident. This accident left him a quadriplegic. While my mother stayed at the hospital to comfort and aid my youngest brother, I took up the mantle at home making sure my other brother was looked after and kept up with school. Though he was 11 at the time he wasn't old enough to look out for himself. This continued throughout the fall semester and I couldn't balance out school and keeping things in order at home. I had to make a choice: focus on school or be there for my family. I told myself I could always go back because my family needed me more. At the end of the day family is family so I dropped everything because I knew which came first...who came first. I tried going back in the spring since my brother had been moved to a rehabilitation center...but after being a rock and holding things together, I found it overwhelming trying to cope and focus on school. I've tried once to go back but again my family needed me more and I couldn't balance the two. I've thought long and hard about what I would do if given the opportunity to go back and decided that I'd major in law. Ideally to be a children's advocate. My life experience has taught me that I want to use the law as my weapon to make sure children are heard. I beehive things would have been different had someone actually listened to my brothers and me. Unfortunately you can't accomplish that with a high school diploma.

Susan   November 15th, 2010 10:04 am ET

I had my own business for 15 years. Due to lack of tech writing and PR opportunities (my expertise) I've been working in ad sales which I REALLY dislike. Anyway, during this time I've written a fiction manuscript and taken continuing ed classes in creative writing. I would love to get an MFA as that can open doors in the publishing world, but I feel too guilty to get a graduate degree that many would consider a waste of time and money.

Jason M. Campbell   November 18th, 2010 8:31 pm ET

My parents divorced my first semester of college and I dropped out to get a job in Chicago working as a laborer. When I came back to my home town of Somerset, Ky, I met my wife, got married and adopted her 5 year old son. I decided after seeing we were going nowhere, that I would get my CDL and drive a truck to put my wife through nursing school. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA. We had two more beautiful kids. Jadyn is 5, Tristen 10, and Chris 18. August 18th 2009 was the worst day of all of our lives, for this was the day that our oldest, Chris, was in a horrible car accident. He was an excellent student and an avid soccer player since he was 4. The day before, he played the first and last soccer game of his senior year. Something was wrong with his car and he had a friend pick him up for school. My wife and I were already at work and assumed he was at school. I was about 4.5 hrs from home and my wife and I got phone calls from University of Kentucky Medical center that our son had been direct flighted from the accident to Lexington and he was in the ER. After being in a coma and suffering major brain trauma equal to shaking baby syndrome, multiple broken bones and a T4 complete spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from midchest down, I have been off work since the day of the acccident, taking care of our son. He has made amazing strides both physicaly and mentally. He has amazed everyone. My wife's medical knowlege helped alot throughout the process and aided in many ways throughout our 3 months in the hospital and rehab. He went from 147lbs. to 103lbs. and would have dropped more if my wife had not explained to the medical staff the difference in a jpeg and feeding tube. When we did finally bring him home after 3 months, we decided that my wife would go back to work and I would stay home and care for him. We spent every minute in the hospital with him and went back to Lexington for Spinal Cord Training at Cardinal Hill Rehab Hospital, where I slept on a cot in his room and went through every session of Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy. I have now started back to community college where they have a nationally ranked Physical Therapy Assistant program. I have learned alot about myself through this, and want to help others the way we have been helped. I believe I have a different perspective than many other therapist. Chris continues to improve dramaticaly. It is hard to tell he even has a brain injury; though, there is significant changes in his processing skills and memory. He was voted Prom King and was able to graduate. I now have him enrolled in a college 055 math and I am taking it with him. He is doing pretty good.

Joanie White   November 19th, 2010 12:09 pm ET

I would really love to go back to school to get my holistic nutrition degree. I am currently a chef and have become very interested in the obestity problems this country is facing- even though i love food and eat a mostly vegetarian whole foods diet myself- on a daily basis I watch the choices people make and have to cook them some really unhealthy things! I feel like such a hypocrite!
My problem is i had this life changing idea of going back to college right when my 16 year old daughter is on her way there too....there is no way we can afford both of us going to school. so my dream will have to wait a little longer......

TARCHA MCZEAL   November 22nd, 2010 11:47 pm ET

i dropped out of school because i was hanging with the wrong crowd and after i did that i started having kids and now that i look back on my life i realize that i want to go back to school to get my education but i've been running into bad luck trying to find a school that is credited and free to go to school online because im sick with lupus and i can't sit in a class room i also need to have a tutor to help me when im stuck because im a little rusty when it comes to math and spelling

marie joseph   November 24th, 2010 1:02 am ET

I'm a single mom 20 yrs old . I've been unemployed for almost 7 months everysince I have my baby. I can't find a job,because I don't have experience .I think going back to school can really help me and my daughter,I currently stay with my sister is not working I have been embarresed.I really want to make our future better including no more poverty.

Leticia Machado   November 24th, 2010 2:15 pm ET

My name is Leticia, I'll be 21 on Nov. 30th and I would like to go back to school. I attended Worcester State University freshman and sophomore year. Going into my junior year, I had to stop attending school. There were some family crisis, such as lack of money because my mother got laid off and my father can't support the family alone. Also between my parents and I there were a few disagreements that led to domestic violence. I want more than anything to go back to school and finish the two years I have left. I want to get my degree to be able to get a good job so I can leave this tough, hurtful, and scary place.

Andrew   November 30th, 2010 6:26 pm ET

in 2006 i had devoted most of my time to the army recruiter .. at that time i was also attending a community college for almost a week when i was told i was gettin ready to ship out .. being that this happened i dropped out of school to go straight to basic training .. Now that i am back i tried to get back in school and found out that i owe the college $1,780.00 all i want to do is get back in school and since i owe this money i cant register they wont accept me back in not only that but i cant go to any school and apply for financial aid until i pay that amount off which is to much for me .. i juss think its crazy that the school wont hear me out on this one even with proof that i had to serve my country i really think this is messed up all i want to do is get back in school

Natalie   December 1st, 2010 5:33 pm ET

I am currently 27 years old with no job, unemployed, married with a baby daughter. Let me first tell you that my dad owns a family-owned jewelry store. My parents from the very beginning wanted me to take over the store. When I was young, I had no desire for the jewelry industry. I loved computers in high school and I wanted to major in Computer Information Technology. I went to a four-year college majoring in computers. Then my mom persuaded me to change my major to fashion merchandising and I did. Then I wanted to major in Interior Design and I had to change colleges for that major. I went to another college. Never adjusted to that big college and did not do good and dropped out. Parents were, of course, upset and disappointed. Moved back in with parents. Worked part-time at a photography studio while going to a community college majoring in graphic design. I loved graphic design. Then I got a part-time graphic design job. I quit my photography job to ease my work load. When I quit the photography studio, the graphic design place let me go. I was devastated. I got my Associates degree in Graphic Design but no job. I have only received part-time employment. I really wanted a full-time job. Still got another part time job working at a retail store at the mall. Worked there for a year until I got married. Moved to another town when I got married. There, I got another part-time job at another big-box store working, of course, minimum wage. I quit that job because I was so frustrated with part-time minimum wage jobs and not climbing the ladder. I ran into an owner at a printing company and got hired to work with him full time. Yes, my first full-time job! I was so excited. During that month there, I did not do very good, owner got upset with me and he told me he was going to find someone else if I don't do any better the end of that week. I only lasted a month in that job then I quit. This was a very low point in my life and my career. I was so confused. Well, a few months unemployed, I looked for work. Finally, I got my second full-time job working at a hotel. The second week into the job, my husband got a good job offer in another city. Another disappointment and setback on my career, I had to quit that job and move. Been discouraged ever since. Have not had another job. Don't want another part-time minimum wage gig. I have been unemployed for about a year and a half now. I just had my first child a few months ago and now I want to go back to college so I can be a better person and get a nice, secure, stable, full-time job. My career has been like a rollercoaster. I need some advice and some help with my career future since my parents no longer support me going back to college. Help!

Amber Erbst   December 3rd, 2010 12:14 pm ET

I am a single mother who started to go back to school for psychology and a certificate of mental health when my daughter was three. I ended up having to drop out because I had to get a job so I could afford a place to live and a car to make it to school and back. Then my daughter started school and has difficulty concentrating. So i put it off even further so I could help her. Well to make a long story short; I am now living with family, trying to find a job still, taking care of my daughter and still anticipating going back to school. It's been a dream of mine to graduate and show my daughter how to fight for what you believe in.

Barbara Grovner   December 14th, 2010 6:18 pm ET

I am 55 years old and live alone in a low-income apartment complex. I am in the process of registering for college in my town. I was just told today (by the management of my apartment complex) that if I apply as a full-time student, I will be evicted.

It seems not every household member can attend college full-time. I am the only member of my household. Is this legal? Have you heard of this before?

I also read somewhere that a woman with minor children was given days to evacuate her apartment because she was a full-time student and her children were as well.

HELP! Thank you.

Crystal   January 20th, 2011 3:09 pm ET

I have to say, I am a 22 year old single mother of an almost 3 year old boy. I started online college in 2008 and I made it through I'd say a year and 1/3 of it, to get my Associates Degree in Healthcare Administration and Medical Transcript Coding. However, I was doing it online. I didn't at that point in time have an actual job other than caring for my son and my grandmother who within that year had a stroke and a partial finger cut off. I thought that with the money I was making I could afford to keep the internet on so I could finish college. As you can tell, it didn't quite make it to that. I enjoy learning and I wanted to get my college education. My main inspiration was of course my son, but then I wanted to better my life and his. Previously before I started college, when I was with my sons biological father, I had no strength, wisdom, or desire to further my education. Of course, like anyother domestic story, he pushed all dreams away. I lost faith in myself. I didn't think I could do it and if I tried, I felt like a failure. But after the day, I'd have to say the worse day of my life, when my sons dad went to prison for domestic dispute in the 3rd degree, endangering the welfare of a child, and so on..because of his actions in considering or choosing drugs and alcohol over us, he went to prison. Yes, he's still there til this day. I often see flashbacks, of that day. For awhile I had nightmares that he was going to get out and well do more than what he did the first time, though he stabbed me nine times, tied me up and stuff like that. All I could hear was, "If you scream, cry, or make a noise, I will slice your throat." So god gave me the strength to just sit there while he stuck the knife into my left arm nine times. I thank god everyday for nothing more serious then that happened. But reasons like that are why I started feeling like I should further my career. I wanted to, I planned to after getting my Associates in Healthcare Administrations and Medical Transcript Coding to further my education even more and get my Bachelors in Psychology. I would love nothing more but to become a counselor for those in desperate need of help when being an active drug and alcohol abuser. For awhile I felt helpless, Now I feel that I am stronger in some sense. I want to show my son that dreams and goals that you set for yourself could be reality and not just a dream. I don't want him to grow up thinking and dreams are meant for sleeping but rather for reality too. He deserves so much. He deserves to know that dreams can turn into reality, with just a little faith and hope.

THANKS -Crystal-

Pamela Lee   February 2nd, 2011 1:43 pm ET

Corrected Version: I am 48 years old and trying to get my mother out of the nursing home she is currently very unhappy in to move her in with me so that I can become her caregiver. I have been in accounting for 20 years. I started my education when I lived in Saudi Arabia with my husband and two children in 1993. That was cut short when we had to leave the country in 1995 because my husband’s contact wasn’t renewed. I began again in 1995 but due to my full time school schedule, working 2 jobs, raising 2 kids and caring for my family it began to exacerbate my already existing health problems and I had to give it up once again, for my health and my family because my kids missed me terribly. When my kids were finally in highschool, I decided to try to go back to college once more. I acquired my dream job with Disney and they were anxious to put me through school to finally get my degree but before I could get started I was the victim of an industrial accident in one of the Disney parks which brought my career to a complete halt. After the surgery, I met my fiance'. He helped me recover from the surgery and get back to a somewhat normal life, considering. We planned out our lives for the years ahead and how we would live out our dreams which included my getting my degree with his help until technology advanced to enable me to be able to work again. This plan ended when my fiance’ was killed in a tragic car accident. After a considerable grieving period and finally receiving my disability status I am once again hoping to continue my education, I’m just not ready to give up. With my income now being only approx. $700 after medicare I don’t know how I will care for my mom, my kids and grandkids when they need it and survive myself now that I am on my own but after everything that’s happened, I still refuse to give up and just live off the government, I’ve always wanted to give back to society not the opposite.

Thanks, Pamela

Brian   February 21st, 2011 5:38 pm ET

I am 37 years old, My wife and I are high school sweethearts with three children. We ran away from ny to boston when we were teenagers. She finished high school in Boston pregnant with our first child. I worked two jobs while she attended Umass boston for four years and then got a two year nursing degree. I am currently laid off and want to go to college to develop a skill but I don't even no how we are going to pay for our first daughter who is starting college next year. Yes the Boston baby . We did everything backwards and have had many struggles but we are still together after 21 years. If you can help me Robin and [HLN] I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You

Adam   March 2nd, 2011 7:10 pm ET

I am 25 years old. My then girlfriend, now wife and I started dating the second semester of our senior year of high school in Amarillo, after we had already decided where we were going to go to school. At the end of a long, romantic summer she left for the University of Hawaii and I left for Texas A&M. During her first semester, she started having problems with fatigue and had to move back home from college, where she and her mother were diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The best we can tell is that her mother received the disease from a blood transfusion in the early 90s, before there was testing, and passed the disease on to my wife by sharing razors with her on vacation. Neither of them has ever led a promiscuous lifestyle or used drugs at all. I put school on hold after my first year to come back to Amarillo and help take care of them during their year long chemo therapy-like treatment programs. At the end of the treatment, it was determined that my wife's hepatitis had been driven into remission, though her mother was not so lucky and had become unresponsive to treatment. The treatments also destroyed my wife's thyroid and gave her Lupus; a double edged-sword I suppose.

We moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex together the next year, without the blessing or major financial backing of our parents, determined to make it together on our own. Shortly after our move the economy crashed, jobs were in short supply, and I found that I had to work long hours as a door-to-door salesman just for us to survive. It became impossible to work enough while in school to pay all the bills for living and education, and eventually the economic conditions worsened to the point that we were forced to retreat home to Amarillo a second time and regroup (while living with my parents).

Thanks to the recently altered medical insurance laws, my wife has been able to get insurance through her father's coverage, but I am still uninsured and my wife is now pregnant. We both recently lost our jobs, and I fear that with an educational background in shambles and no degree, that I will not be able to support my family to the best of my abilities, much less provide some of the basic needs that my future child will have.

I understand that everyone was hit hard when the economy was toppled by greed and consumerism, but this is just ridiculous! I am a smart, good, reliable, loving man who wants to build a better future for those around him. Is there any way for me to salvage the broken parts of my past and move on towards a better future? All I want is to be able to finish my bachelor's degree without having to worry about how my growing family is going to survive. I feel like I have a real shot at giving back to this country if it will just meet me halfway.....

Sedric Moore   March 14th, 2011 3:49 pm ET

Hello My name is Sedric Moore, I have had my life turn upside down by being accuse of something I didn't do and because of it I lost my stablility (my job), credit worse than ever. I have tried to go back to school but could not afford it. I am working a minimum wage job., I have a pilots license, but can't advance without training. I want to go back to flight school along with a college degree, I have found a college and flight chool but can't afford it. I'm looking for grants and scholarships, can you help me?


Hilary Gotzh   April 12th, 2011 10:10 am ET

I am 28 years old. I dropped out of college twice (yes twice ) years ago while battling addiction and going to rehab. After years of bouncing from job to job and battling for recovery; I am more than ready to go back and graduate. I want to finish my Bach of Science, and then continue on to grad school in network security. I have goals to own my own company, buy a home, help my family, and start one of my own also.

I enroll in my summer classes this week and I am expected to graduate by end of 2013. It will be a long process, but I know that if I stick with it – it will be the best choice I have ever made!

scott   April 12th, 2011 10:21 pm ET

if i want to get a job but I'm an ex-con with epilepsy and my medical
bills are $600.00 a month how am i supposed to feed myself and
pay my bills. I've defaulted on my perkins loan and pell grant. years ago
i tried using the christian health clinics until my medication dosage
became too varied. the state restricts me from driving so i rely on my bike. if i don't get lucky my future looks pretty grim.


Walter Wayne Hicks   May 4th, 2011 3:16 pm ET

For years I laid it off on simply keeping my daughter (Ivory), close to her brother (Casey). I had custody of my daughter and my ex-wife had custody of our son. 'Laid it off' refering to living in a dismall community with nothing for employment opportunies aside from minimum wage factories, etc,,.and not moving us to a better, or at least more industrious if not prosperous area.
But something inside told me that these 'twitches' and little 'zoning off' spells, were more serious than I was allowing myself to believe. That was my late twenties, early thirties. By my late thirties and just prior to forty, I was sufferring my first Grand Mall seizures. Petit, so forth and on, it has now become common place and the idea of once again being able to endure a typical 'manual' labor work week is currently beyond the realm of possibilty.
My childrens mother, Victoria Ellen Handigan passsed in the month of February in the year 2009. I retained custody of my son that day. Though I am ever so glad that he has returned home, the circumstances for he and his sister were sad, their mother passed of Breast Cancer.
Now myself, with Epilepsy and IBS am no terminal patient mind, but i do suffer daily and wish to return to college for to further my education as my son is now 14, and soon will be on his way to his own life as well. They worry about me seemingly as much as I for them. It is such a crazy world we live in this day and time. We simply were hoping for your assistance though it seems so underserving with so many in need.

Leonte Parker   May 15th, 2011 11:42 pm ET

I am a 26 year old father of 3. I was previously in a state university right out of high school. I didn't make the best decisions at 18 but now 8 years and 3 beautiful children later I now see the need for that education and degree. I want to provide the best life possible for my children. I have, however, run into a few obstacles. Student Loans being a major one. Not to mention I owe my former university for the last semester. Anyone with info or advice please feel free to contact me: Thank you in advance. God Bless

Wanda Halliday   May 23rd, 2011 6:02 pm ET

I am 48 years old and I live in Lynn,mass. I worked in Boston at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a dental claims processor from May 1989 throug June 1990. I had to quit because I developed "Vertigo after an inner ear infection and with the vertigo I developed anxiety especially around crowds. I was put on SSI in late 1990's or early 1991. I have been on SSI ever since. I got better with the vertigo and I have been taking care of my mother for the past 6 years because of asthma and COPD. My mother passed away this past August 2010.

I have been trying to get into a training program for medical assisting and EKG Tech. I don't have a car nor do I know how to drive. Its been difficult getting financial help for training because they don't want me to lose on my SSI benefits but I want to get a job so I won't depend on SSI all the time.

Maybe you can suggest something.


Heidi   June 24th, 2011 12:44 am ET

Hello, My name is Heidi and i am 26 years old. I have been out of college for about three yrs because of an outstanding debt that I owe an institution. The reason that I owe this college is because I decided to bring my child along with me to attend school. The college had single parent housing and daycare. I had a small job when I attented the college but i had the will to do the best I could to be a great mother and graduate from college. I was living on student loans and grant money to support me and my child. I don't regret bringing her with me. I could have left her with my mother, but I wanted to be the one to raise her. At the end of my second semester, I found out that i had a balance that I had to pay before I could get reinstated in school for the next year. I talked to different people from the business office and got nowhere. I went to the business office about three times and beore that I called several times to see what I could do. I tried to get another loan, but I needed a cosigner. My parents were already in debt. The only other option I had was to move back home and so I did that. I have tried my best to try to get back in school, but I do not have the funds to do so. I am a single parent of two now and I want a better life for them. My dream is to go back to school and get my doctorates in radiology. Never been more sure of what I want to do than now.

orealia walker   July 13th, 2011 7:07 pm ET

Hi my name is orealia I see I'm not the only 50 + wanting and need to go back to school ,I put family first , the children are all adults with their own family now and the youngest of the four has enroll in culinary school my second love but we simply can't afford it . I was sick for a long time tried to apply for SS I don't know what happen couldn't afford a lawyers to contest it ; but I regress if anyone has advice for me please pass it on, thank you, sincerely otealia

Shelley   July 30th, 2011 12:16 am ET

I have a successful career but chose to go back to school 20+ years after graduating from high school. The decision was simply to be able to give back. Eventually, I want to work in hospice care. As my father laid on his death bed, it was the hospice workers who helped him and me transition to death and grief. I would love to help another family the way the beautiful people helped us

Micheline Bavaro   September 16th, 2011 6:15 pm ET

I would love to go back to college, but that I can't . Because my husband is currently going back to school for his bachelor degree in communication. I also have twin girls age of 3. We are not making enough money to send them to pre-school. I feel like that I am in a box. I don't know what to do. I am under water in my house. My husband travel almost 3 hours back and forth to work every day. With the gas prices, it's killing us. Any advice on what I should do about going back to school myself?

Liza Warner   December 9th, 2011 9:23 pm ET

I was googling for advice and came across this link. I love your show, and I was wondering if there is any help out there for veterans that are single moms who would like to go back to school. I have been in the career of sales for over 20 years. I just can't do it anymore, I really want a career that fulfills me. I want to feel like I'm making a difference. I would like to go to Nursing School full-time. I tried to go last year and could not financially go to school and still support my family. I have been struggling for the past year, I even took a deployment with the United States Navy to help with expenses. Unfortunately, due to a medical problem, I came home early. My daughter and I live in Florida and my son lives in a different part of Florida. I have so much responsibility, but something keeps "telling" me to go to nursing school. I just don't know how I can go to school full-time and still pay all my bills, so I don't lose my house or car. If you have any suggestion, they would be greatly appreciated. It is so bad, I don't even have money for Christmas presents, but my kids would just be happy to see me go for my dreams and become a nurse. Thank you so much for any advice that you have!

Tina   December 14th, 2011 7:17 pm ET

Hi, I am a 52 year old woman that was going to school to be an RN. I had my child in 1988 and started school in 1989. I was faced with a life choice of raising my son with a very angry alcoholic or getting a divorce and getting a job. My son is now 23 well adjusted young man that has recently left home and got his own apartment. I had an excellent job until I was pushed out so family could replace me in Sept 2011.I am having a hard time getting a job even though I have over 20 years experience in accounting. I want to go back to college and become an RN but not sure where to start. I have a house payment and a few other bills but have no credit cards. So, I feel this is an obtainable goal if only I knew where to start and how to get financial help. Please if you can ... show me the way to obtain this life long desire that I have to help others.

Thea Wever   January 9th, 2012 10:36 pm ET

My husband and I were together 15 years. 4 1/2 years ago my kids (ages 5 & 7 then) & I, hugged and kissed him goodbye, he and I off to work and the kids to school. However, by 4:30 pm that Wednesday afternoon life as our family new it was upside down. My husband passed away instantly of a heart attack at the age 44. In an instance I was a 38 year old "only" parent left to raise our two children. I also thought John, my husband was my forever. Now, what would my forever be. As we struggled to grasp our new life, my folks who lived in Texas all my young life, choose to retire and relocate to Kentucky to be near me and help me. My poor father was only here 2 months before being diagnoised with terminal cancer. And that left mom & I with my two kids in tow to be his round the clock care givers. Although it was tough my kids are amazing and stuck by us in his care until the end. My dad passed 18 months after my husband. The dust has settled some for us and I know that I need to start making a plan of how I can take care of my family. I want to go back to college to become an RN. But, I'm afarid I can't afford it for me and then turn around in 6-7 years and try to help my two children through college. I would love to show my children that no matter what life deals you, you can pick yourself up and move forward.

Lee Williams   March 26th, 2012 9:57 pm ET

Hi Ms. Robin,

I am a 46 year old very accomplished chef but have somehow lost the passion to continue with this highly cut-throat business. I live in Charleston, SC with my wife. We are getting ready to move to Tampa Florida where we have a goal to build a successful Auto detailing business that will be an offspring of my soon to be retired career. It will be called Detail Chef. We are currently on google..just type in DetailChef and you'll find us.

I want to attend University of Tampa who has an excellent degree specifically for the entrepreneur in mind. I heard that there was a program to help entrepreneurs get the education we need since it does foster the agenda of the presidential candidates goals.

How would someone go about achieving this on my own time and still detail cars during the day? I have a vision of revolutionizing how service is presented to customers. But I have no clue as to how to turn said goals and aspirations into tangible and achievable success. That's why I need the formal education to learn the operational aspect of this business. This is how I would be finding my crew when we are ready to grow exponentially. I love Anthony Robbins' "Dream-It–Schedule it–Do It!!! And how do I live and pay bills while in school?

How do people do it, I mean walk away from a corporate career to start a new career?

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About this blog

It's Morning Express like you've never seen it before! Hear from Robin Meade and the rest of the show crew for our thoughts on everything from politics to sports... to those bizarre stories that have us buzzing behind the scenes. Plus, plenty of material you might not see on the air. Don't miss OUR TAKE on what's happening in the world. Then tell us YOURS!

Robin Meade
Delivering your dose of morning news, to get you out of bed and off to work.
Robin Meade
Bob Van Dillen
From tracking storms to airport delays, Bob is your weather and travel expert.
Bob Van Dillen
Jennifer Westhoven
Jennifer has the tips you need to take action on stories affecting your wallet.
Jennifer Westhoven