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With support from professors and peers, Joyce is exemplifying that it’s never too late to pursue your dream career.
Throughout her life, Joyce pursued many different career opportunities, including corporate, government and non-profit work. But it wasn’t until she retired in 2016 that she could fully devote her time and focus to her true passion and goal: a job in the education field.
“I have always felt so passionate about learning, but marriage, kids and other life commitments made it difficult for me to take more than one class at a time – until now,” said Joyce. “My ultimate goal is to teach English as a second language to people who are new to this country; to help them build the skills they need to have new opportunities and be successful once they immigrate to the U.S.”
Joyce’s college experience has been quite diverse, with courses completed online as well as on campus at Howard Community College, Prince George’s Community College, and Laurel College Center as she worked to earn an associate degree. She graduated in May 2018 and is currently enrolled at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Humanities.
“At my age, clearly I am not the average student,” said Joyce. “One teacher called me ‘a dream deferred’ and that is such a true statement. I think we all have an inherent gift. And this is mine. I love literature and the English language. Teaching it will give me a chance to share what I know and love with others someday.”
Joyce says the tremendous support she has received from her professors and peers has motivated her even further. Professors take the time to explain new concepts, answer questions and provide real world examples and learning opportunities, she says. And Joyce has genuinely appreciated the opportunity her classes have given her to collaborate with other students.
“I can see and feel what I am accomplishing by being here,” said Joyce. “It inspires me to keep going; to take more classes and continuing learning so that I can reach my goals and finally do what I was always meant to be doing.”