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  • Writer's pictureLeona Enright

How My Life Was Changed By One Question

Hello everyone. My name is Leona Enright and I want to tell you about a time where my mind was changed for me. I am what you call an unconventional student. I did not follow the traditional path when it came to my education. At age 18, I was a high school dropout and a soon-to-be mother. At that time, I knew I had a lot of growing up to do at a superhuman pace. The day I became a mother was a pivotal moment in my life. A year and a half later, I welcomed my second child.

During my pregnancy, I was able to complete the requirements for my state high school diploma at our local community college. Fast forward several years later, I was chatting with my children on the importance of higher education. My son, being my daring and witty child, quickly asked, “Well, why didn’t you go to college mom?” Ouch! That very curious and honest question hurt. I quickly turned to my son and responded with this answer: “Because my job is to be your mother.” Deep down, I knew that this was the moment my mind was changed for me. I quickly registered for classes at the community college and two years later I graduated with an AAOT focusing on Business Administration in the spring of 2015. At that point, I set that example for my children. This degree was for them and helped to prove that higher education was possible for people of any age.

I then transferred to Eastern Oregon University (EOU) completing my bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a minor in Communications in the spring of 2019. One of my biggest pet peeves with this transition was letting go of having physical books. I really loved holding a book and flipping through the pages. I quickly found that I didn’t have to break my back by carrying all those books and accepted the idea of using digital books. It took me a little longer to complete this degree but I did it nonetheless! I pushed through the steep learning curve of online learning and self-discipline to stay on my degree path. This degree was for me.

During the commencement ceremony, I witnessed graduate students walk across the stage and thought to myself, “I could do that too," Not long after, I did! I was accepted into EOU’s master’s program. In this academic year, I was asked by one of my favorite professors to represent my school in the National Millennial and GenZ Community. At first, I was terrified because this group forced me out of my comfort zone. Yet, I am glad I joined. I finished my MBA at the completion of the winter term of 2021. This degree was to prove that I could do it. It also was a degree that my family and I could be proud of.

This story was essentially about how my mind was changed for me. It started with a simple question from my little boy. While he doesn’t know it, his question changed my life path forever. I am living proof that no matter where you are at in life if you keep pushing forward and taking small steps towards your goal, you can and will achieve what you set your mind to do.

Keep going forward. The reward ahead is worth it!


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