Everybody experiences a unique path to their education and career. For Jillian Porter, a Bryan University graduate, her education came after life threw her multiple twists, including overcoming a family tragedy, pursuing a different career path and giving birth to her daughter. But she was determined to reach her goals—especially when it came to her education. As a recent graduate, she said “anybody who goes back to college knows it’s hard. I did my best and made sure to buckle down and get good grades.”
For Porter, the road to her education was not an easy one.
“My mom passed away when I had just turned 19. She fell ill and was in the hospital for two months, came home briefly and had a stroke. She died in the hospital shortly after,” Porter said. “My mom was my biggest supporter; she was my best friend. I had to raise my daughter on my own, but now, it’s slowly starting to get better.”
After her mom passed away, Porter felt lost. “[I] moved around a lot, trying to get my bearings straight and find my place without my mom,” she said.
While losing her mom was a huge challenge, Porter said it made her “a strong willed, independent and motivated woman.” She had to prove to herself and her daughter, now six years old, that despite the tragedies and obstacles life can bring, you can set goals and achieve them.
Porter began her work as an ambulance EMT, where she stumbled upon a new lifestyle that would change everything for her. “My first EMT partner was really into fitness, and she introduced me to it. I started eating right and working out on a regular basis,” she said.
As Porter continued her job as an EMT, she became increasingly more interested in fitness and personal training. “Going through that lifestyle change made me want to be able to do that for other people.”
Then came a new challenge: trying to work full time, raise a child and go to school.
“I needed something flexible, and I found Bryan, which offered an online program. I saw how personal they were with me, and it became my choice,” she said.
Porter’s dedication to pursuing a career in personal training made her education possible. “It was all online, which made it a lot easier for me to do. I would study during the day when I had down time at my job. I got a lot of my assignments and reading done at work, and when I got home, it was family time. There were only a few times on the weekends that I had to dedicate to school work, but with my EMT job, it worked out,” she said.
Porter put the work into it and she is proud to admit it. “[My degree] is a symbol that I accomplished something big. Despite all I’ve been through the past six years, I have something to prove for all the hard work I put in. It’s a symbol that I stuck with it. It’s a huge accomplishment,” she said.
She didn’t do it alone, though. “They are so helpful at Bryan. It’s all about communicating your situation. In today’s society, everybody is looking for convenience. An online degree is the most convenient way to earn your degree. At Bryan, they work with you,” she said. “Look into this school. Their personal training and exercise specialist programs are awesome, and they have so much to offer.”
At Bryan University, we want to help you reach your professional goals. If you have a passion for fitness, our Personal Trainer Diploma and Exercise Specialist Associate of Applied Science Degree programs can give you the knowledge you need to pursue entry-level positions, including fitness trainer, aerobics instructor and athletic trainer.
Don’t let obstacles get in the way of your education. Contact us today to get started at Bryan University.
For more information about Bryan University graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed our programs, transferability of credits and other important information, please visit our website at www.bryanu.edu/consumer-information.