Nontraditional Student Week Day 4: David “I am low income”

Happy Nontraditional Student Week! There are many attributes to those defined as nontraditional students — from working status, to children, ethnicity, and age. I will be featuring a different nontraditional student every day this week — students who work hard to achieve their goals despite the factors that work against their success! I hope you find them as encouraging and inspirational as I do! If you are a nontraditional student, please share your story with me!

Name: David Blake

I am nontraditional because: I am low income, a parent, and over 25 years old while attending college.

College:  Mount San Antonio College, Walnut CA

Major: History

Share a bit of your story: your struggles, your proud moments, etc.:1507283_888479887834732_1753691571121810444_o

My educational “story” hasn’t been an easy one, having struggled with what was called “reading trouble” when I was younger. I was never encouraged to attend college because of this. However, I went anyway and didn’t do well the first time around. I soon discovered that I did not simply have “reading trouble” but dyslexia. I had spent most of my life thinking I was stupid. Now as a student over 25 with 3 children I struggle to find time to study but I am taking my time and trying to get help so that I can be successful despite the odds that are set against me. I struggle financially because my family is low income, falling way below the poverty line for a family of 5. I work two part-time jobs to make ends meet, and most times they barely meet. What makes it more challenging is the fact that I had done poorly the first time and cannot receive financial aid until I improve my grades. I am almost at a 2.0, which has been a great encouragement. One of my proudest moments was when I received my first “A” in a class after returning to college. I still struggle, but I know I just have to take one day at a time. 

Advice to other nontraditional students:

No matter how long it takes you, never give up because the goal you set is worth the wait. Your education is priceless and it can’t be taken away from you. Even after a few classes you will feel empowered.

Favorite inspiring quote:

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill 


Thank you David for being willing to share your story, I am proud of you for not giving up! 


To read previous entries for Nontraditional student week, click here:

Jennifer “I am 25 or older”

Johnny “I am a minority”

Arianna “I am a parent” 


And to read my Pearson Teaching and Learning blog post on Nontraditional students as “The New Normal” click here:

Real Talk: I am the New Normal

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