Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

My Inspiration to Pursue a Graduate Degree

I am Latisha Turner and an active duty Soldier serving in the U.S. Army for over 25 years. My reason for pursuing a graduate study lies in my pursuit of being a life-long learner. I have been seeking higher education since my high school graduation.

My motivation and inspiration for continued learning stemmed from the death of my father. When I was just 13 years old, my father was murdered. Often, he would always tell me, “I want you to graduate from high school and attend college.” He always wanted my siblings and me to exceed his education, which was number one on his agenda. My father was a teenage dad and only attended junior high school. After his murder, I was determined to surpass my father’s educational goals for myself by obtaining a higher education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

After his death, an unexplainable fire ignited inside of me that pushed me to a steward of life-long learning not only for myself but also for others to exemplify. My father is my motivation and inspiration for continued learning. Many young children may never encounter someone like me who lost a parent as a young child and raised in a single parent home ultimately obtaining a doctorate. Research indicates that the loss of a parent can affect the chances of a child obtaining a college degree. My situation was different because I had a strong family and church support system that helped me grieve after my father’s death. They also were pivotal in preparing me for college in spite of the financial difficulty.

My father’s death was a turning point and a life-changing event for me where I began my educational journey. I hope to inspire others in never quitting in obtaining a higher education no matters the odds. I hope my life of a life-long learner inspires generation of children to achieve a higher education regardless of their socioeconomic background or family structure.

latisha from Virginia
Florida State University