Student Success Story

Tiffany BrawnerMy name is Tiffany Brawner. I am a junior here at Kennesaw State University, thriving toward my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I am a 39-year-old single mother of three sons, ages 9, 19, and 23. How has the fall semester been for me? While my oldest son no longer lives at home, managing five classes while being a mom to a first-year college student and a child that has autism, has served as a significant challenge this semester. In addition, I have experienced diverse health issues, with one of those issues leading me into the operating room for a surgical procedure. This entire year, specifically this semester, has been the season of juggling stones, one stone after the other. And needless to say, the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t made the burden any lighter. At the beginning of this semester, while working diligently to conquer my own educational tasks, I was also homeschooling my youngest son, while helping my middle son transition into becoming a college freshman. This presented a challenge for me, as I had to stay awake and use time during the night to complete assignments. Being a single mother is difficult within itself, however, being a single parent to a child with special needs presents a different kind of challenge. I have struggled greatly this semester in managing the challenges of my son’s disability while trying to manage all five classes. With all of my classes being online this semester, there have been several days where I had to juggle between tending to my son and being in class virtually, which often interfered with my ability to focus during class.

Nevertheless, I am here!

While I could go on and on about my challenges, there is beauty is all aspects of life, even those that cause you to have some crying days. I myself, have had many, especially this semester. But the good news is that I’ve pressed, pushed, and conquered! Despite every odd against me, I have successfully achieved all assignments and have submitted each of them on time. As a result of my diligence, I am completing the fall semester with all A’s, maintaining my beautiful and triumphant 4.0 GPA! Today, I stand a few steps closer to the very thing my heart desires, my KSU cap and gown, and that Elementary Education degree in my hand. It is safe to say, that every tear, every sleepless night, and every stone… was worth it! I am here. And I am blooming!

MY ADVICE

To my fellow BCOE students, bloom where you are planted! Use every obstacle as motivation to thrive toward your education and any other emerging goal you may have. Remember, that a little faith in yourself, combined with perseverance, has the capacity to move any mountain. Whatever it is that you are working to accomplish here at KSU, you can, and you will. Your family, your friends, and even your future students, will be inspired by your success. So, keep conquering and keep winning! You’re off to great things!

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