Got a great story here from the love of my life---an inspirational story that should encourage each and everyone of us to NEVER give up!!   I thought I'd share Sherry's story with you!!

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Upon graduating from high school in my small North Idaho town of 3,000 people in the year 2000, I moved to Spokane, Washington to attend college at Eastern Washington University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Professional Accounting.  I rented an apartment, started working part-time and going to school all within 3 months of graduating high school.  Balancing this, and living alone in a “big” city for the first time was tough, and I didn’t always have time for fun, but I kept plugging away at my goals. 

In 2003, I was promoted in my part-time job and offered more hours;  I then decided to work full-time and still continue my schooling part-time, which allowed me to purchase a condo (my first home) and a truck in 2005.  Unfortunately, my dreams came to a halt in October 2005 when my dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack.  As an only child from a very small family, I was very unprepared for this, and I still remember the devastation I felt when I received the call.  I could not eat, sleep, or do anything for over a week.  All I could do is stare out the window and cry.

Upon returning to Spokane, I tried to get back to my routine.  I went through the motions, attending work and school, but as I was still shocked and devastated from the loss of my dad, I had little energy to do anything else.  I pretended to be my regular jovial self at work, but would come home in the evenings and cry for hours, listening to the echo of my sobs through my condo.  I couldn’t do any homework, and my grades fell.  At this point, I was close to failing my classes; I passed, but after the quarter was over, I withdrew from the university to give myself time to recover and to focus on work.

Fast forward 7 years… after working and landing a very good energy data analysis job, I applied for a management position within my company that I was confident I could perform well and would really enjoy.  The lady who would be my boss interviewed me, and our personalities clicked, and my skill set matched those she was looking for.  A few days after the interview, she called me into her office.  She reluctantly told me that, despite my wonderful reputation in the company and my skills matching those of the job, the other candidate was hired because she had a college degree, and I didn’t.  I spent a week angry and upset, and felt like a huge failure.  Finally, I picked myself up by my bootstraps and scheduled an appointment with my college advisor…I took a negative situation (rejection) and turned it into a positive (going back to achieve my degree).  I began by taking one class at a time, for 4 hours one night per week, for 2 years.  It was very tough, working 40+ hours a week, purchasing a house and moving in 2013, attending classes (and doing homework) all by myself.  There were many times I wanted to give up, but I kept going.  On June 14, 2014, I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Accounting.  I love my energy data analysis job (I was promoted in December 2013) and will stay with my current company, but will be eligible for future promotions and opportunities with my degree.  It was super tough, and it did take me 14 years, but I did earn my degree and reached that goal.  I hope this story inspires you to never give up on your goals; whether it be college, pursuing a hobby, mastering a skill, or whatever it may be, you will run into stumbling blocks and trying times.  The key is never giving up; you truly can achieve anything you put your mind to.