My Motlow Story: Patricia Foster

Patricia Foster

Can you imagine immigrating to a country where you don't speak the language and getting an associate's degree? Patricia Foster can tell you how it's done. She is a native of Peru who raised her children and then came back to Motlow, continuing the college education that she began in 1991. Patricia is on course to graduate from Motlow in May, 2011. After graduation, she plans to join the dental hygiene program at Tennessee State University.

"I first came to Motlow in 1991," said Patricia in an interview with members of Motlow's Student  Image by Motlow CollegeSuccess Committee. "It was very difficult for me to study because I would have to stop a lot and look words up in the dictionary. It was very time consuming as my English was just not very good.

"I had three small children and I soon realized that I just couldn't handle being a good mother to my children and a college student at the same time. I had to make a decision and the decision was to stay home and raise my children – get a degree in motherhood I guess. It is a choice that I have never regretted as I see the fruits of my labor in my children now."

Once Patricia's youngest child advanced through elementary school, she began to realize that she had consistently stressed to her children how important it was for them to get a college degree but she had not fulfilled that challenge herself.

She entered the nursing program, but after two semesters she realized that nursing was not for her. Despite her improved English language skills, the nursing program presented challenges that she found difficult to overcome. However, her determination resulted in her coming back to Motlow for a third try at a college degree.

"In 2009 my middle child enrolled at Motlow to follow in her sister's footsteps and become a teacher," continued Patricia. "The saying is the third time is a charm and I guess that is true for me and my education as I am on schedule to graduate with my daughter in May."

Even though it has taken Patricia 20 years and two more starts to get from her first class at Motlow into position to graduate, she has no regrets in choosing to raise her children. She also realizes that Motlow was the perfect place for her to grow and learn.

"Now I know what I want to be when I grow up," she chuckled. "I really love it here at Motlow though. Everyone is so friendly and the campus is so beautiful and close to my home. The faculty members have all been so great to me and I enjoy all of my classes very much. Plus the cost is half of what I would have had to pay at a university for these first two years."

"To any adults out there who think it is too late to return to school and get an education, I am proof that it is never too late," Patricia concluded. "It is very much worth it and the feeling of accomplishment is tremendous."

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