Single parent uses encouragement from daughter to go back to college

by ELIZABETH CUSTY

January 22, 2010

Fighting low self-esteem was a common battle for Lydia Storey, a single parent and full-time employee, until she went back to college to fulfill her dream to become a certified teacher.

Divorced for thirteen years, Lydia said her ex-husband mentally and physically abused her. The mental state her husband gave her made Lydia feel she could not obtain a college degree.

At 41-years-old Lydia was hesitant, but found the courage to go back to college. After much research, Lydia decided to go through Texas Tech University to obtain a Bachelor in General Studies. She said she chose Tech because of the friendly administration.

“The administration always had a smile on their faces,” she said. “They always gave me encouraging words.”

Lydia also chose Tech because of the online option it provides. Lydia lives in Comfort, Texas, a town eight hours away from Tech. She said the ability to work online helped her save gas, work full-time, and manage home life as a single mother.

Lydia said co-workers and friends admire her determination. However, she said she is most inspired by her daughter. She said her daughter expresses pride in her, especially for the numerous late nights studying.

Lydia’s degree consists of three concentrations in English, psychology and sociology. She also earned 16 credit hours of Spanish.

Lydia is currently a teacher’s assistant at Comfort ISD Middle School. Since she started her degree, she feels she understands her students better.

Lydia said the past four years was difficult and at times seemed unreal.

“All my life I have been promoted through all my jobs,” she said, “but in back of my mind I never thought I could go back to college and earn a degree.”

Currently, Lydia is one class away from graduating and beginning a career in teaching.


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