Military Wife Struggles To Get Nursing Degree For 15 Years, Then Wows Family At Graduation

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

Growing up in a poor family, Melissa Gillespie dreamed of getting a college degree. However, she believed it would never actually happen.

That dream became even more distant when she married a sailor in the U.S. Navy, becoming a military wife. It’s pretty common for military families in the U.S. to move around a lot, making it hard to pursue higher education. Plus, after getting married, it didn’t take long for life to kick in. Melissa was soon raising three children and running the household.

Needless to say, Melissa had a full plate for, oh, 15 years, while she worked to become a registered nurse.

Yet, this year, she finally completed her dream. She now has her bachelor’s degree.

After enrolling in online courses at Southern New Hampshire University starting in 2015, she worked around her very busy schedule and carved her own path to achieving her lifelong goal.

She says a big part of her motivation was wanting to set a good example for her children (and her daughters in particular) so they would know that they don’t have to choose between a career and motherhood.

In reaching this goal, Melissa became the first person in her family to ever receive a bachelor’s degree.

At age 37, Melissa fulfilled what she once saw as a pipe dream, proving that it’s never too late to follow through with a promise you make to yourself.

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