Coworkers Tackle College Together

Coworkers Tackle College Together

These two remarkable individuals not only began their journey as coworkers at Commonwealth Senior Living in Gloucester, Virginia, but they also embarked on an incredible academic adventure together, graduating this year from ECPI University Online with bachelor’s degrees in their respective fields.

Jazmin is no stranger to hard work and determination. She serves as a program director at Commonwealth, where her responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, including ensuring the quality of life for residents and providing dementia training for staff members. Jazmin’s journey towards earning her degree was fueled by her desire to create a brighter future for herself and her family. And, as a single mom, she sought a faster route to a degree, one that would allow her to balance her responsibilities effectively.

To achieve her academic goals, Jazmin had to make significant sacrifices. To fit her studies into her demanding schedule, she often found herself working all day, taking care of her kids, doing schoolwork until 3 a.m. and back up at 5 a.m. Despite these challenges, Jazmin’s determination shone through, and inspired those around here like her coworker and sales onboarding specialist, Stephanie.

Stephanie had her own set of aspirations. For years, she had carried the dream of attending college, but it seemed elusive. However, witnessing Jazmin’s incredible achievements and unwavering determination served as a catalyst for Stephanie to take a bold step forward. It was Jazmin’s support and encouragement that helped Stephanie overcome her doubts and pursue her own academic ambitions.

“I’ve worked all my life, but I’ve always wanted to go to college,” said Stephanie. “Seeing Jazmin and all her successes really motivated me.”

The duo’s friendship extended well beyond the workplace, organizing pizza nights for their children to play together while they tackled their ECPI schoolwork. “We had some classes together, and would even log on to tutoring sessions together,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie and Jazmin speak highly of ECPI’s online program, emphasizing its exceptional flexibility and support. “Other online programs are just not as flexible as ECPI. For me, having the flexibility to know your deadline is Sunday, and that you can attend class or watch it back later, makes it so you can truly choose what works best for your schedule,” said Jazmin.

Stephanie agrees “The flexibility and support were great. It was easy to contact ECPI, and if you needed something, they were always there,” she said. In fact, it was Stephanie’s Program Director Elisabeth Amspacher-Philemon who was instrumental in making the Commonwealth into an ECPI externship site. Now, even more ECPI students can learn, work, and grow alongside Stephanie and Jazmin.

Amspacher-Philemon had nothing but kind words for Stephanie and her tremendous work ethic. “Stephanie was an extraordinary student. She was one of the most hardworking and enthusiastic students I have had the opportunity to work with,” she said. “Her dedication and eagerness to learn was evident during her externships, both of which allowed her the opportunity to grow further within her organization. She will continue to have a bright future in healthcare!”

Jazmin’s experience at ECPI rekindled her passion for business. “The faculty made me fall in love with business all over again, motivating me to think about all the troubles you’ll go through in business and want to solve them,” she said. It was their dedication and constructive feedback that inspired Jazmin to find solutions to real-world business problems.

At times, when Jazmin found herself working late at night, she knew even then she could reach out to her instructors for help. “They even answered at 10 or 11 at night. It made a big difference. If I was working late, they were too,” she said.

The duo’s remarkable success has transformed their lives, enriched their workplace, and inspired
their community.

In a special post made on her LinkedIn account, Jazmin shared a graduation photo of her and Stephanie, captioning it: “One of my biggest achievements in life, and sharing this adventure with you was even better, Stephanie.” In response, Stephanie wrote, “...The finish line was all worth it!”

Their story serves as a testament to the profound influence of education and the extraordinary possibilities that emerge when friends uplift and motivate one another on the path to achieving their dreams.