Student Spotlight: Angel Kearns
Angel Kearns has a lot on her plate -- not just the one she serves at a local restaurant four nights a week.
She's a wife, mother of four and soon-to-be grandmother. She maintains a home, family, job and near-perfect grade point average at College of DuPage.
Kearns is pursuing COD's 3+1 Management degree program with a focus in Accounting from Benedictine University. Her biggest challenge so far: balancing class, work and family schedules.
"I have great kids, a great husband, and they've all stepped up. My bosses at the restaurant are awesome, too. I'm very fortunate that a lot of people are behind me," she said.
Her moment of truth came in 2010, when Kearns looked ahead and couldn't see working as a server for the next 20 years. She imagined the physical demands, for one, would be too taxing. Hoping to boost her earning power, Kearns came to COD to explore her options.
Kearns met with Angela Nackovic, Adult Admissions representative, who helped her with everything from deciding the best career path to securing scholarships to cover a good portion of the expenses, and Andrea Liedtke, Adult Fast Track coordinator, who helped her draft a master plan for the next four years.
"Angela and Andrea gave me all the tools I needed to keep going," she said. "If you seek out the right people and the right avenues, the help is amazing."
The first semester was the hardest for the quiet, shy Kearns, who wondered how she would fit in.
"Fortunately, I took speech with Marco Benassi. He just opened up my world," she said. "I realized I need to present myself in class and not just hide in the back corner. I need to make myself known, open up and participate more so that I have a good networking system when I'm done. And who knows, maybe that 20-year-old kid in my class could be my boss in five years."
For now, Kearns is proud of how far she has come.
"I feel smarter. I dress better. I feel like a better person. I'm going to contribute something," she said. "This experience has taught me that I'm stronger than I thought. Coming in, I wasn't sure how I was going to do this. It has made me a better, stronger woman and a role model for my children."
2014 College of DuPage