Against the Odds: Achieving Despite Obstacles

CTU Alumnae Aneala LanceWhen Hurricane Sandy hit, Aneala Lance stopped updating her address records because she didn’t know where she’d be staying next. She stayed with friends, then a relief center. Through it all, she tried to maintain her academic progress, but it proved difficult without regular computer access, and she was forced to halt her studies for a time.

However, Aneala didn’t want to give up. She worked with her advisor to set new goals to earn her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice.

“I wanted to graduate to give back to my community,” she says. “We need people. We need that person, like a John F. Kennedy or a Rosa Parks – those were the voices that pushed me through.”

Through all her challenges, Aneala had support from CTU staff. Her Success Coach, Andrea, and her Financial Aid Advisor, Tavares, were with her every step of the way to ensure she could meet her graduation goals.

Attending graduation was especially poignant for Aneala, because it was attending a CTU ceremony with a friend that pushed her to go back to school.

“It was truly amazing,” she said. “He encouraged and inspired me. I went with him to graduation, and that’s when he challenged me to go back to school. I even shared his computer to (complete schoolwork) so I could graduate.”

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It wasn’t easy for Aneala, but her positive attitude and determination saw her through. She found that the expectations of online schooling were just as demanding as a brick and mortar school, and she thrived on being able to meet them.

“If my instructors hadn’t challenged me, I wouldn’t be able to reach the goals that I can now,” she said. “I am proud to be a CTU graduate. The instructors want you to strive, cope, and overcome challenges. They don’t pity you, but they work with you.”

Aneala’s classroom lessons have translated into her work environment. She finds she’s better able to handle working under pressure, conducting herself with confidence in meetings, and maintaining integrity.

Aneala hopes to find a position on the legal side of criminal justice, in a courtroom or with the court system.

“I feel like Wonder Woman!” she says, of achieving her academic goals.