My name is Sharon Patrick Rodriguez, I’m from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and I am getting my bachelors in applied psychology today. I want to do something in social work, I’ve worked with kids, I raised 5 of my own kids, I’ve had foster kids, my grandson has been in the system because his dad just got custody, he’s a single dad, I work with kids and that’s where I want to go with my life. I’ve worked a varying schedule. Since I started school-I started working like midnight to 8am, I’ve changed schedules, I ended up working 2:30 to midnight. Whatever schedule I worked I could always manage to get my school work in. With a 3-year-old tugging at me and everything else, I got it done. It’s been phenomenal. Some of the teachers have just been exceptional, I feel like I really know some of them, and meeting professor Jones last night was really fun for me. One of my classmates showed up, as she said, as “a support person,” and it was wonderful to see her. I stay in touch with some of the people that I‘ve met, I’ve gone to visit some of them when we’ve been on vacation, and I feel like I have a whole new group of friends. It’s been hard work-it’s been real hard work, through a lot of ups and downs, but here I am and I’m very excited. This is really the culmination of a dream, in 1967 I didn’t realize how important this was going to be to me. Now I’m collecting social security, I’m getting my degree and I feel like I’m entering a whole new life.