September 30, 2023

Mom, military wife rises to challenge

Ami SmithAs a military spouse, you are usually very familiar with moving boxes.

Your husband or wife’s job often takes you across the country or the world in a matter of months. Maintaining continuity of family, household, lifestyle, career and education can be challenging.

Mother of three Ami Smith, who is also an Army vet herself, knows this all too well.

“Being a military wife and mother is a different challenge than some can imagine,” she explained. “For me, I think it is all about the attitude you approach any challenge. If I go into any situation saying that I can’t, then I will surely be disappointed. If I go into any situation with the attitude saying I can or I will, it is much easier to see the rewards in the end.”

One of the recent rewards she has reaped is achieving a bachelor’s degree in health care administration with CSU. Smith, 36, has always held an interest in the health care industry since a young age.

“After separating from service to the Army in 2001, I took a career assessment test with the Veteran’s Administration in 2002. I scored very high in skill and interest in the health care industry. It only seemed fitting that I pursue my education in the health care field and I am so happy that I did,” she said.

After the Army, Smith worked several jobs including a few in the health care field and obtained an associate degree while living in Washington. Another move and she was in Kansas and later Georgia. It was 2009 and Smith decided she wanted use her GI Bill and complete her education with CSU.

“It was a great way to continue my education with flexibility in the event my husband were to relocate while I was in attendance, and not have to worry about dropping a class or finding another university to continue my degree plan and possibly lose credit for classes I have already taken,” she said. “I was also very impressed with distance learning. The staff at CSU was very understanding and knowledgeable in their positions and eager to help me obtain my goals.”

She was not a stranger to online education when she enrolled at CSU. However, “the others cannot compare to CSU. I think what sets CSU apart from others is the dedication to their students’ success with so many different online resources available to students to help everyone succeed.”

Smith’s enthusiasm and resolve was a part of her success, too. “The entire time I attended CSU was a challenge that I was up for and I was determined to prove to myself and my children that you can do anything you set your mind to,” added Smith, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

No small feat as she also juggled motherhood, being a wife and taking care of the household while her husband was away.

“It all became second nature and I learned to adapt with the added responsibility of being a student. It also helped me to keep in mind that I was not attending classes just for the benefit of a higher education for myself; the overall benefits attached to my personal gain included knowing that I am leading by example for my children. They see me accomplish my goals even amid the chaos in everyday life. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but the ultimate goal is to look at the overall outcome of each challenge and know you gave it your best,” she explained.

Smith is not certain what career she will pursue long-term with her degree, but she wants to get a master’s degree and perhaps a doctorate.

“I know I am far from being done learning and growing. Someday I see myself running my own business in home health supplies and equipment and maybe being a part of a larger picture in helping advocate in the health care industry,” she commented.

“All anyone can do is live for the day or moment with goals in mind. We are all human and can make mistakes, but if we stay positive even in the worst situation, there is always a positive that we can take and learn from it.”