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People start their blogs stating who they are in an, “I am x, y, and z,” fashion. I won’t because I can’t. I am like everyone else, and composed of so much more than just a few high points. I’ve done stuff – some of it good, and some of it really shitty. I tell people I am exquisitely human, filled with happiness, anger, laughter, sorrow, blessings, and curses. I am strong, and yet, I struggle. I have accomplished great things, and I have failed. Right now, I am in a journey and I don’t know how it will end. I am going to use this space to talk about it, and hope it helps someone – anyone – know they are not alone in their journey.

My name is Jessica, and my primary belief is that education (of any sort) can be the escape to better opportunities. It is probably because my job is in education. My beliefs on education and education as power originated when I started working in education. I saw the benefits, first-hand. However, I was the ultimate hypocrite and I didn’t want additional education for ME. Peers, colleagues, supervisors, and friends wanted me to further my education and they encouraged me to jump into a Master’s degree program. I did jump in, for them. And I failed, miserably.

Fast forward almost a decade later, and I finally realized I wanted to further my education, for one reason alone – it was for me. I spoke to my professional mentor (who is also brilliant, kind, and one of my closest friends in life) and confessed I was ready. He and I created a plan for my continued education, inclusive of a Master’s and a Ph.D. As of today, I am in my capstone class of my Master’s degree, and about a month away from embarking into a Ph.D. program.

I hope to connect with anyone interested in furthering their education, regardless of the education level. Are you thinking of going back to school? Or do you want to take a class and don’t know where to start? Are you already back in school? Do you feel isolated? Do you have questions about how anyone else is managing this? Do you wonder what challenges are others experiencing, and what solutions are they using to overcome them? Do you have questions about how to begin the journey? Reach out to me – let’s start a community. Let’s start the discussions, and open the lines of communications to break down the barriers to education. We are so lucky to be alive right now, with so many options to further our abilities and to break the barriers holding us down.

Fuck the barriers. Let’s rise. Together.

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