Laura Drouard, a registered nursing program student, recently served as the Owens Community College class representative. She addressed the graduates during the Commencement Ceremony in May.
Drouard attended college right out of high school, but soon realized it wasn't the time for her. She decided to interview for positions as a flight attendant and accepted the first job she was offered. She spent the next 20 years traveling around the world.
As the years passed, her work environment changed and she knew it was time to begin a new career. In the summer of 2006, she enrolled at Owens Community College.
"I have always wanted to have a college degree and I always wanted to be a nurse. I didn't think I could do it, but my husband encouraged me to try," said Drouard.
With her demanding schedule as a flight attendant, she took nearly half of her classes online. She was able to study and complete class work in the early mornings while the rest of her family was still asleep.
"I wouldn't have been able to finish my degree without the flexibility offered at Owens," said Drouard.
She is thankful for the support of her husband, Josh, and her two sons, Matthew and Michael, as well as the support of her parents, Jack and Carol Hayes. She is also thankful for the guidance and quality teaching from the faculty at Owens.
Drouard's commencement speech addressed the challenges of attending college and the joy of overcoming obstacles.
Now Drouard plans to begin working on her master's degree and plans to attend Lourdes College this summer.
"From this day forward, life will be different because we are different. We hold the key to a promising future," said Drouard.