The often-used adage, life begins at 40 is something Angela Walker takes to heart. Of course, she had a full life up to this point but at 41, she decided to complete her studies at Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC). In December, she will receive dual degrees in Criminal Justice and Human Services, a payoff to her hard work and determination to succeed.
She embraces the fact that she is a non-traditional student. Walker represents about half of the seven characteristics of a non-traditional student; which include, delayed enrollment into postsecondary education; attends college part-time; works full time; is financially independent for financial aid purposes; has dependents other than a spouse; is a single parent; or does not have a high school diploma.
Recently, she “starred” in a radio commercial for the college talking about her experience of going back to school. She tells the audience, “It is never too late, my experience at SVCC has been fantastic and I have received work promotions since going back to school.”
Walker works at Greensville Correctional Center and has been there for 21 years. She is the Executive Secretary to the Warden Senior. Working full time, she is allotted education leave that enables her to work on some of her classes.
A single parent, Walker has raised a son who now attends college and he will be graduating in May 2019 from Bluefield College.
She advises others by reminding them that knowledge is the key to success.
Earning a degree is a milestone for anyone, she said.
“Having this ability to grow in your career makes me proud and feel accomplished,” she said.
And, even though the end of these degrees is in sight, her educational goals will not end there. Working towards a Bachelor’s degree is in her near future, she said.
There should be no barriers to people interested in furthering their education. At SVCC, there are many people in place to make the pathway smoother despite age, financial situation, and other circumstances, so stop making excuses and make the first step to further your education.