Abigail Jerry, 22, sets out to be successful at everything she does. The Metropolitan Community College-Longview student graduates in May with an associate in arts degree. On top of being a single mother, she’s found time not only to earn her degree but to be deeply involved in campus activities as vice president of the Student Government Association, a member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and as a student ambassador.
Back story: Jerry graduated from Bellevue West High School in Bellevue, Nebraska. Having moved to Kansas City, she wanted to get a degree from a four-year college. But on the advice of her mother and others, she decided to go the community college route first to help reduce costs. A visit to MCC-Longview convinced her it was the right fit. “I appreciated the help I got and that things were done in a timely manner,” she says.
Favorite MCC moment: She says a high point was being chosen Longview’s Student Ambassador of the Year.
Favorite instructor: Jerry says she has enjoyed all her instructors and classes. “I haven’t had any bad teachers. They are all helpful,” she says. But English instructor Eric Sullivan does stand out. “He made it fun to come to class every day and gave me good feedback on my writing. He gets stuff done.”
Next steps on the journey: She plans to earn a degree in clinical psychology from Avila University.
Advice for other students: “Get involved on campus,” she suggests. Many people think of community colleges as a place they don’t want to spend a lot of time, she says. But getting involved “makes it more enjoyable. When you interact with other students and instructors, you might learn something you didn’t expect.”
Challenging moment: Jerry says the biggest challenge she faced was balancing being a single mother, work and school. She works as a nanny, which allowed her to care for her child at the same time. She also got plenty of help from her mother.
Have gown, will graduate: She has low-key plans for commencement. She says the celebration will involve a family dinner. She’s planning a bigger party for when she earns her undergraduate degree. Still, she’s considering doing something special with her cap on graduation day. She’s searching Pinterest for ideas!
Being an inspiration: She’s putting in the hard work and sacrifice to set an example for her 5-year-old daughter, Naomi. “I want her to see and know that you can achieve anything no matter the circumstances.” She says Naomi is full of life and has the same drive as her mother. “I want her to see my dedication and perseverance to go after what I dream of. I want her to be proud of me. But most importantly, I want her to see that God works for everyone’s good.”
What others say: “She has very high dreams and she is doing all she can to achieve them to be the best role model to her daughter,” says Brianna Yahaya, Longview’s Campus Life and Leadership coordinator.