For Tabitha Jacquet, earning a college degree is more than just seeing her name on a diploma—it’s about making history.
“I come from a lower-class African American family of seven. At times we lit the house with candles, warmed it with kerosene heaters and had neighbors bring us water,” said Jacquet. “We struggled, yet the family values of my underprivileged upbringing inspired resiliency and a strong work ethic. My goal is to break the glass ceiling and become the first to graduate college.”
On her journey to this goal, Jacquet began working multiple jobs, started taking out loans to begin earning college credits and then made her way to New York City to become a first responder.
“I have been a police officer for 14 1/2 years. It has taught me to work with the public on a large scale, laws, written policy, resourcefulness and the importance of community relations,” said Jacquet. “The goal is to have laws to protect the people and have a society where the police can function.”
Although serving as a first responder has helped prepare her in earning a degree, Jacquet says that her job as a mother has just as much impact.
“I am the devoted mother of two extraordinary disabled children. There are physical and financial challenges to raising children with special needs, yet it is a humbling and enriching experience,” said Jacquet. “As daunting as it has been, it is the greatest blessing of my life. It keeps me compassionate and furthers my desire to advocate for others through health care.”
Through life’s defining moments professionally and personally, Jacquet has become intellectually and emotionally aware of the needs of others. With this in mind, she is looking to pursue a degree in health care administration and, as the recipient of the NYPD Scholarship, she is one step closer to becoming the first person in her family to graduate college.
“The Columbia Southern University scholarship provides the opportunity to achieve my educational goals without the burden of secondary employment and grants me the flexibility to attend college. It allows me to progress academically and focus on my courses. This scholarship breaks down financial barriers, closes the educational gap and will make me a college graduate!”
Jacquet says she is excited to continue her work to reach her goal. To those who are working to overcome obstacles to achieve a dream, Jacquet’s advice stands true.
“We cannot control the hand we are dealt in life, but we can control what we do with that hand.”
To learn more about CSU’s NYPD Scholarship, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Scholarships.