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It's an experience I wouldn't trade for the world.
Lori Sheahen earned an A.A.T. in Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education from Harford Community College, completed her bachelor’s at Towson University, and is now a special educator at Fountain Green Elementary School. She works with kindergartners and third, fourth and fifth graders. Lori says, “It’s a challenge at times, but always fun! I absolutely love what I do! I have always wanted to be a teacher, and when the opportunity presented itself several years ago, I jumped at the chance to further my educational career and achieve a long-awaited dream.”
When Lori decided to go back to school, she didn't even consider any other college but HCC. Not only was it convenient, but she also had many friends who had attended and had only great things to say. “My time there was wonderful and I met many friends who I still have today.” She said she particularly enjoyed her internship with HCC and that it actually helped to guide her to her love of Special Education.
Lori was initially a bit apprehensive about starting college since she was closer to the age of some of her instructors than the other students. A mother of four, she was actually attending classes with students who had graduated with her son. However, once she began classes, she found she never felt out of place. Everyone was very welcoming, and Lori very quickly realized that returning to school was a wonderful experience. When Towson University in Northeastern Maryland (TUNE) opened, she was thrilled; the commute was so much nicer than driving all the way to the Baltimore County campus, and she enjoyed her time there as well.
Her advice to other students is not to let anything stand in the way of their dreams. “No one should allow perceptions to hinder them from doing something that they really want to do. There are times when I wish that I had attended college ‘when I was supposed to’. However, I really believe that raising my children was an experience that I could not have gotten back if I had missed it to go to school. I feel as if I am in a much better place because I had experience on my side. I was able to enjoy the learning without all of the drama and stress that many college students experience. And as much as I enjoyed all of the new friendships that I made, I think that the other students enjoyed having me in on the fun with them. We all learned from each other and still have bonds today. It is an experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.”
As a nontraditional-aged student, Lori found the HCC/TUNE experience to be perfect for her. Whenever she visited the main Towson University campus, Lori felt out of place. “There was so much going on, and I just couldn't relate. At HCC and TUNE, there were more students who were closer to my age and simply more accepting. I looked forward to going to classes for the simple fact that I would be seeing some friends and learning, not having to worry about anything else. I would definitely recommend my experiences to anyone who is considering going back to school or attending for the first time.”
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