Slow and steady wins the diploma in the case of Kathy Vitzthum, a 48-year-old who just graduated from Iowa State University after 19 years of attending classes. Nineteen years! It started out when her boss suggested that taking a few extra courses might snag her a promotion -- the mother of two had no plans to actually graduate. But then her dad got cancer, and one of his last wishes was that Vitzthum finish her schooling ... so she kept on keeping on as a senior accounting major, taking just one class per semester.
Is this not one of the most inspiring working mom stories ever? One can only imagine how many times Vitzthum wanted to quit over the years. Balancing a full-time job and motherhood is hard enough when everything goes smoothly. Even then, the thought of taking on an extra activity can seem overwhelming ... how many times, at the end of a long day, has the "sit on the couch" devil on your shoulder beat out the "go to the gym" angel on your other shoulder? Now picture dragging yourself off to school after hours of putting out professional fires and cleaning up kid puke ... pretty impressive, huh?
Clearly, Vizthium is a brave, tenacious lady ... and I bet her dad had a lot to do with that. I heard a theory once that all anybody really needs to succeed is one person who truly believes in them. Vizthium had her dad ... and when he was gone, she took over the job for him.
Oh, and talk about setting a good example: Both of Vizthium's children are on the same positive track: Her daughter is already a college graduate; her son gets his degree this year.
Do you find Kathy Vitzium's story inspiring?
Image via Yovany Alas/Flickr