The Hub Celebrating inspiring moms—and AU students and grads

Celebrating inspiring moms—and AU students and grads

How flexible online learning allowed these moms to balance work, studies, family life, and more!

Balancing family, studies, and career requires a good support system—and often a few tradeoffs and sacrifices along the way. That’s why so many students turn to Athabasca University (AU) so they can study at their own pace.

But don’t take our word for it. Through our Transforming Lives series, dozens of students and alumni have shared their stories about their education journey with AU. Nearly 70% of AU students are women, many of whom are mothers.

So for Mother’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of five moms who worked hard to transform their lives through open, online education.

Marketing. Maternity leave. Mom.

The best part of all? My girls could be there to see me cross the stage to accept my degree! Although they’re too young to understand, that meant the world to me,” writes Carmen Neville (Bachelor of Management ‘22).

My husband and I evolved as a family. We had a baby girl, and I took a full year of maternity leave away from work. I allowed myself recovery time before resuming my studies with AU. I finished up the last course of my degree a couple months after returning to work, and eventually became pregnant with our second daughter.”

Read Neville’s story.

Overcoming cancer. Raising two children.

“When I was raising 2 children on my own, and struggling to recover from cancer at only 36, I knew that I had to do something to provide a better life for my children.

“I decided to upgrade my education and finally get a degree,” writes Shannon Gringas (Bachelor of Arts, Major in English ‘23).

I love being able to show my kids that I am resilient and strong and still have so much to learn in life. With a new career, I can support them in their dreams as well as my own.”

Read Gringras’ story.

Sober. Strength. Slaying the competition.

“I do remember one day when all I could smell was burnt toast, and I continued to do drugs that day. I knew I was going to die,” writes Celia Koehler (Master of Business Administration ‘23).

“If you can find a way through it, then you’ll become better for it.”

Read Koehler’s story.

Career pursuits. Flexibility. Volunteerism.

“I love that with AU I can learn at any time of the day. With my busy schedule, studying sometimes begins in the evening,” writes non-program student Victoria Lang.

“I am also able to do things I love, such as volunteering and visiting my family abroad, without sacrificing my education.”

Read Lang’s story.

Growth. Education. Second career.

“I decided to enrol full-time at AU to pursue a career in health that will allow me to have financial success and grow,” writes AU student Kim Leppington.

“I am thankful for AU’s flexible nature as I can stay home with my son and complete my courses in the evening.”

Read Leppington’s story.

Transforming Lives: Learners of AU

Read more profiles of AU students and grads in our series Transforming Lives: Learners of AU.

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  • May 9, 2024