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I completed my BSW in 1993 in my 40's. Better late than never. I was very disappointed that I would have had to transfer to U. of Md. in Baltimore to complete my Master's Degree, so I opted to discontinue my education at that time. I subsequently relocated to Southwest Florida and I now have a second residence at Sun Harbor Marina in San Diego, California on our boat "Bourbon Street," to be close to our kids who live in California.

My intention was to complete my Master's Degree in Ft. Myers, Florida but the program had been suspended. In the meantime, I worked as a Residential Counselor for Domestic Violence Shelters, while simultaneously working as Owner and Editor of Family Values Magazine from 1996 to 2000, while simultaneously taking on the role of Lee County Coordinator for the Reform Party, which was my first experience in the political arena. Once I became involved in our magazine I felt at home so as its Editor that the urge to return to complete my Master's Degree waned.

Twenty years later, I am retired but still considering attending USC's School of Social Work to finally complete my Master's Degree. Meanwhile, I stay politically active on Social Media, often awakening passions, raising awareness and inciting radical discussions of important social issues facing our nation and the world.

My experience at Anne Arundel Community College and UMBC have been invaluable for my personal fulfillment and I wish to impart a bit of wisdom about what it is to achieve a college education. If you enter college thinking it is a path to wealth, you will miss the larger and more important value of a college degree. The experience is about self-discovery, awakened and sharpened insight into the way the world works and the development of your passions that are hidden just beneath the surface, waiting to blossom. Just like a flower, you can't dictate exactly what it will look like once it is in full bloom. Your education is the fertilizer and you must allow it to do its job.

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Richard B. '86

Thanks so much for this wonderful story!

Sara M. '18

Please embroider that metaphor on a pillow, it's beautiful!

Meredith P.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing your UMBC story and your lessons learned!