My greatest academic achievement is not a single award or diploma. It is the events of one summer and the events that led up to it.
While in high school I was in a car accident that changed my life. I suffered moderate brain damage from the event and the education system let me fall through the cracks. My parents were awesome as I recovered. It was often hard for me to walk without thinking about it, I would chant left, left, left, right, left to move. I forgot how to do basic math. It was a difficult time. My parents bought me workbooks and study guides spanning from elementary school to high school. I had to drop out of school and start most of my education from scratch. That was in 1992 and 1993.
When I was ready, I began a whirlwind summer.
Here is what I did that summer:
- Took the SAT
- Took the ACT
- Passed the GED
- Complete two summer college courses at West Virginia State for 3 credit hours each
- Went to the Insurance School of America and passed licensing for Property and Causality
- Went to the Insurance School of America and passed licensing for Life and Health
- Began the fall semester at State with 12 credit hours
- Getting my GED after having to relearn so much very much, on my own.
- Becoming the youngest female licensed insurance agent in West Virginia at that time.
- Two weeks later becoming the youngest dual-licensed insurance agent of any gender in the state, again at that time.
- The Dean’s list that summer and every semester after that.
Not one of those is my greatest academic accomplishment. It is the sum of them over such a short time period I consider an accomplishment.