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Francis Edwards

Edwards' dream of education becomes a reality

Motlow College student Frances Edwards reached one of her life's goals on Saturday, May 11, receiving an associate degree from Motlow and becoming an official "college graduate."

Edwards' journey to pursue a college education began in 2009 after she moved from West Tennessee to Shelbyville for a fresh start. She said she has always loved school, but that previous plans to attend college were put on hold because of her responsibilities as a parent and provider for her three children.

But Edwards' dream of attending college remained, and when she decided it could become reality, she began researching area colleges online. She said her search took her to several large universities, but that she immediately knew she wanted a smaller school.

"I wanted something that felt like 'home'," she said, "so I came to Motlow and I fit right in."

Although Edwards said at first, the whole college experience seemed "overwhelming;" she soon found that she had something to offer as a non-traditional student.

"That first week with those young kids, I was looking around and thinking this might be too fast for me. It turns out they have taught me so much, and in turn, I have taught them as well," she said. "It has been an exciting experience. I still have that high school mentality when I walk into a classroom and wonder if I will like the teacher and the class. But so far, I have loved every single class and the opportunity to learn something new."

Edwards said she has met many people whom she will never forget at the college.

"Folks like Brenda Cannon, Pam Harris, and many more have been instrumental in my academic success," she said. "They have been a great help in assisting me with schedules and anything else I needed. They even take time out to say hello when they see me in the hall, and that has meant so much."

While Edwards' time at Motlow is almost over, she said there is much left for her to work toward and accomplish in the future.

"Both my daughter and I are currently pursuing college degrees, which is a dream come true in itself," she said. "But we also plan to go into business together once we have graduated and operate a medical information center in my uncle's medical practice. I am excited about using my degree that I have worked hard to earn."

"Being able to accomplish things that I have always dreamed of through education is truly a dream come true," she said.