CSU student Sarah Butler can usually be found at the YMCA in Enterprise, Ala., working as the fitness director.
However, her title first and foremost is “mom” to her three sons: Daniel, Caleb and Ben.
She started working at the YMCA 16 years ago so she could bring her children to work with her.
“They grew up there. The YMCA has been so good to me, especially as a single mom trying to raise children. It’s been a great place to work,” she explained.
The Enterprise YMCA is a CSU learning partner which has allowed Butler to save money on tuition while she seeks her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management during the past year.
“CSU is wonderful. It helps get us through it. It doesn’t expect us to navigate alone,” she said.
Butler admitted it was hard getting back into school after being out for many years. “Times have changed and it can be intimidating getting started again,” she said, but she wanted to show her sons that she could complete a degree.
Yet she isn’t the only one in her family with a college diploma in sight. Her 18-year-old twin sons, Daniel and Caleb, will graduate in May and have big plans in store.
The pair play defense on the Enterprise High School football team and both have signed to play football at the university level. Their mom is beside herself with joy.
“I can’t believe it is all happening so fast!” she said excitedly. “They were always right there together and now they have chosen very different paths.”
Very soon, the twins will chase two different dreams as Daniel reports in May to Furman University while Caleb leaves in June for the University of South Alabama.
Daniel plans to become a foreign missionary and build orphanages in the Congo after graduation. Caleb, who signed with University of South Alabama, will study sports medicine.
“It will be very hard for me to watch them go different directions but it was their choice. They are a blessing to me, I’m very proud of them,” Sarah Butler said.
Although Butler planned to earn her degree before her boys started their college years, she isn’t too far from the finish line. She hopes to complete her degree late this year and move on to a master’s degree program with CSU.
“I love CSU, and I’m probably one of its biggest cheerleaders.”