I have completed my first year of doctoral studies! I cannot believe I made it this far. To be honest, this one-year accomplishment was only possible because of the support and efforts of my entire family.

I have two boys, both of whom are in elementary school. My husband and I soon found ourselves overwhelmed with four very different and quite demanding schedules. 

We quickly reached out to our family and found a support system that we could rely on at any time. My parents, parents-in-law, siblings, cousins, nieces, just about anyone we asked was willing and ready to help in any way possible. We couldn’t be more grateful! 

I am now working on my dissertation proposal, “Perceptions of Economic Consequences of High Student Loan Debt in the United States.” Professor Hampton was once again extremely helpful in guiding me through this process. It was worth every sacrifice to attend his course in person. 

I competed in ISM’s business pitch competition, Pitch in Paris. While our business idea did not win the competition, we felt like winners simply because we were given the opportunity to get our business idea out to a global audience. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity. Thank you, ISM! 

Toward the end of the year, I received very sad news. My dad, who has been battling cancer for the past three years, found out his cancer had spread to most of his organs. His doctors stated that he has “months” to live if they continue his chemo and radiation therapies. My dad is so strong in his faith that it has become the strength on which my family and I  lean on. I do not know what the future holds, but I believe my dad will see me complete this journey to graduation.

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