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Jessica Vera-Bennett

Jessica Vera-Bennett graduated June 8 with a degree in Early Childhood Development & Education. Here, she tells her Columbus State story in her own words.

When I was a senior in high school I found out I was having a baby. I finished school and I quickly had to learn how to be a mom.

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher. However, being a single mom, I knew my dream would never come true. I worked in a daycare center because I knew that was the closest I would ever get to having my own classroom.

That was until I heard about Columbus State.

I talked to an advisor and found out I could obtain my associate degree here and then transfer to a four-year college where I could become a teacher. But I was still scared of taking that chance and held off.

In early September my older brother was murdered and left behind three children. After this happened, I realized we only have one life to live and we must live it to our fullest potential. I enrolled and started the same month and have been at it for four years. Since fall of 2008, I have gotten married and had another child, however; nothing has stopped me from completing my dream.

I will be attending Otterbein University this fall where I will obtain my bachelor's degree. So, I can finally become a teacher!!!!! YAY!!!!

The Early Childhood Development & Education program offers an associate degree in Early Childhood Development, as well as certificates in Basic Early Childhood Administration and Infant Toddler Education. The associate degree can be applied to a bachelor's degree at several four-year colleges, including Otterbein, Ohio University and Ohio State University.