Ever since she was a little girl, Kriste has wanted to be a teacher. She knew that college was the way to get there, but she was nervous about leaving her support system — her family — behind.
“My biggest fear was being on my own, and not [being able to] depend on anyone to make sure that I make it to class on time or finish my work and study for tests,” she says.
Since her parents couldn’t afford to pay full tuition, she also faced the challenge of finding a way to fund her schooling.
Kriste decided to attend a public university in her state. She lives on campus, but the college is only 45 minutes from her hometown. This gives her the best of both worlds: she’s far enough away to become more independent, but close enough to visit whenever she feels the need. She says she got over her fear very fast once she got to college.
Kriste applied for financial aid and received a subsidized loan that covered her tuition. She found a private loan to help with room and board.
With a major in early childhood education, Kriste is on track to earn her degree and become a kindergarten teacher. “I like kids because they're energetic and always willing to learn,” she says. “I like that I can motivate them to become better people.”
Her favorite class so far has been Women on Stage and Screen. “I’ve learned a lot about the roles women play, on the stage and off ... [and] the accomplishments women have achieved [and] how dedication is the key to change and success.”