JMU Adult Students Balance Life While Earning Degrees

HARRISONBURG (WHSV) -- About 3,600 students are graduating from James Madison University this year.

For those who have gone through the adult degree program, the hard work of balancing a career, family, and school is finally paying off. It's an achievement one local woman says she's proud of.

"It's bittersweet for me. I've been in this program for several years, and it's become my new normal," shared Donna Garber, who is a student graduating from JMU's Adult Degree Program.

She is one student happy to finally be wrapping up her degree this weekend, "I've lost a little sleep, and I've had to say no to a lot of things that I would normally be able to say yes to. I've taken a lot of textbooks on every family vacation."

She says it's been worth it even though she has balanced her family, a career, and textbooks. It's a challenge that leaders with the program say isn't for everybody.

It's also a challenge that Garber's family was willing to work on with her.

"My family has been great and extended family and friends. The people I work with. It's really been a wonderful network of people that have brought me to this point," Garber explained.

Even with that, she says there are times where she thought about stopping.

“There are times that you have these huge papers due. You've got a sick parent or child or something happens. Life happens,” she added.

While this chapter of Garber's life is closing, there's still plenty more to be done.

"I hope to be an adult educator, and in order to do that, I needed to continue my education. This program gave me that opportunity ," she concluded.


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