Never Give Up: The Journey of Alfreda Adams
By Mike Lesczinski, Excelsior Life News Staff---
Life has a way of interfering with even the best laid plans. Alfreda Adams, 56, of Columbia, Maryland, enrolled in college in 1974 with dreams of a career as a language interpreter. However, when her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Alfreda, the oldest of nine children, gave up her education to return home to take care of her mother and raise her younger siblings.
Eventually Alfreda married, had two children of her own, but remained committed to her educational goals. She returned to nursing school at the age of 44, looking to earn her associate’s and become a License Professional Nurse (LPN). Only a few weeks from graduation though, tragedy struck again – Alfreda’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and she returned home once again.
Disheartened, Alfreda, currently a secretary for Howard County General Hospital in the Labor and Delivery unit, didn’t want to start over. In fact, she had seemingly given up on her education goals in entirety until her college career advisor encouraged her to contact Excelsior College, due to its liberal transfer policy.
Although her children were grown, Alfreda remained concerned with finding the time for her studies as she continued to take care of her ailing mother and raise a nephew.
But with her church providing encouragement and support, Alfreda returned to school after learning she could transfer nearly 90 credits of her nursing education towards a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. She eventually completed thirty one credits through online instruction and walked across stage this past July to receive her diploma.
With a degree in hand, Alfreda looks ahead to applying her education and realizing her true “calling” – founding a Creative Arts Center for sexually abused children, providing each with professional counseling and emotional therapy through music, dance and prayer.
“It was something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” says Alfreda. “My education will help me make it a reality.”