MARIETTA, OHIO— Like many adult learners, Washington State Community College’s (WSCC) Student of the Month, Megan Boyd, enrolled in college to set a good example for her children. Greater still, she felt compelled to earn her degree to provide her family with security as they face an uncertain tomorrow.
Boyd’s decision to earn a degree came when her son graduated high school. When she encouraged him to go to college, his response, “Why? You didn’t go,” gave her reason to pause. As she explained to him that a college degree meant better opportunities, “It dawned on me that I could better myself if I went to college.”
The mom of three manages a tight schedule where she skillfully balances her family, work, and school. She explained that taking classes online has proven invaluable in her life. “I really like online learning. I don’t have a set time to be in class. I have a deadline, so I can work around when the kids are in bed, or when things aren’t busy at home. I would recommended online learning to anyone with a full plate.” As the full-time kitchen manager at the always busy Cornerstone Inn restaurant in Beverly, Ohio, taking classes online means she can study and do assignments when she’s on break. The support she receives from her employer and customers watching is great motivation. “The people at Cornerstone Inn are like family. They’re excited for me to graduate,” she said proudly.
Web-based classes also make it possible for her to be a full-time caregiver to her husband Terry, who has brain cancer. “Every day I wake up and I wonder if today is his last day,” she said tearfully. Terry, who is homebound, is completely reliant on Boyd. “At some point, I know that I’m going to be raising these babies on my own and I need to be able to make a way for them to be able to go to college,” she resolutely added. His deteriorating condition often makes it difficult to articulate his thoughts, however, when she shared with him that she was being recognized as WSCC’s Student of the Month, he was able to congratulate her and tell her, “I’m so proud of you.” Boyd said that while she knew he was proud without saying the words, “it felt good to hear it.”
With only one semester to go before she graduates, Boyd admits that getting to this place in her academic journey hasn’t been easy. Along the way, in addition to the mountain of responsibilities she manages daily, she endured job loss related to the pandemic. “There are days that I truly say that I can’t do this anymore. Then I realize how much impact I have on [my family’s] lives.”
Boyd’s perseverance will pay off when she walks across the stage and graduates next May with her associate degree in Independent Studies with an emphasis in Business.