Help Me Finish My Dream of a College Degree

Help Me Finish My Dream of a College Degree

From Heather Lazzell Tyler

I’m raising money to help pay for my final semester of school. With your help I can finish my degree and show my kids that it’s never too late to follow your dreams—No matter how impossible it may seem.

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Hello. My name is Heather Tyler and I need your help. I have only one more semester left of school. With your contribution I will finally be able to graduate college with my Bachelor's Degree from the University of Mobile. Please. Any little bit will help me reach my goal.

I started this journey back in 2007, and it although hasn't been easy, it will be worth it in the end. As a wife, mother of 4, and while taking care of my household, I went to five years of night classes. During all this, I worked 2 part-time jobs all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Medical problems forced me to take a break from school in 2012. Having spent eight long years out of school, I finally gained the courage to return and finish what I started. 

Here is a little more to my story:

I dropped out of school in the ninth grade and ran away from home when I was 17. After getting married at 19, I went to night school at the local high school and earned my GED. After a few years I began attending a local community college at the age of 22. A few months into my first semester of college I discovered I was expecting my first child. During that pregnancy, I was extremely sick and couldn't even complete the semester. Shortly after our son, CJ, was born we moved to another state for my husband's job. In doing so I was able to be a stay-at-home mom. The moment I become a mother, my only concern was my newborn baby, so I put all thoughts of school aside until “one day in the future.” 

Time went by and we had our second child, a girl we named Sarah, and I was very happy and content to be a stay-at-home mom. Being CJ and Sarah’s mother was my job and I loved every minute of it. When it was time for CJ to start school, I got a part-time job at a preschool where I could keep Sarah with me and earn a little money. Not long after I began my new job I got pregnant with our third child, a boy we named Jonathan. It was during this pregnancy that my entire world imploded on itself and my life as I knew it would never be the same. It was a Tuesday afternoon in September. My husband and I ran some errands before CJ got out of school. I'd only been home a few minutes when I got a call from my brother. He told me that our mother was dead. She’d shot herself—she was only 46 years old. I lost my mother to suicide on that day, but I also lost a part of myself. To say that I was devastated would be an understatement and there is not a single day that I don’t think about her. Not. One. Single. Day.

Jonathan was born a few months after my mother's suicide and I threw myself into raising myself in my kids and being the very best mother that I could. I forced myself to stay busy so that I wouldn’t be alone with my thoughts. I enrolled in the University of Mobile's Center for Adult's Program about a year after Jonathan was born. If you've ever lost a loved one then you know that life goes on even though they are not. Eventually, we had our fourth and final child, a girl we named Krislyn. I continued my education by taking classes at night and on weekends. When Krislyn was about 4 years old, I started getting sick. I was very sick and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. I was weak and couldn't keep any food down. I had no choice but to take some time off of school. In addition to being sick, I began to have pain all over my body. I knew it was serious when I couldn't even wash dishes anymore. After seeing multiple doctors and having overwhelming amount of tests, I was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, a severe hormonal disorder, and a condition called fibromyalgia. My doctors and I eventually found a combination of medications that helped me to have more good days than bad. 

As time passed, my oldest, CJ, graduated from high school and joined the U.S. Air Force. Not long after that my daughter, Sarah, graduated from high school and was accepted to the University of Mobile. With my family's encouragement, I made the scary decision to go back to school and finish my degree. However, I changed my major from education to psychology, which meant an extra semester. I've now completed two semesters and am on track to graduate with Honors in May of 2023. 

Unfortunately, I recently recieved an email from the school's  business office telling me that I've used all of my allotted financial aid and will have to pay out of pocket to complete my last few classes. I am so close to actually graduating, but I can't do it without help. If I'm not able to raise $2,000 by January 3, 2023, I will be forced to wait and take another "break". My fear is that, like last time, a short break from school will turn into another eight years. 

I can’t begin to express what it will mean to me to get my college degree. Walking across that platform wearing my Cap and Gown is an experience I've long dreampt about. I'd almost given up on my dream of graduating college, and I am so excited to be so close to accomplishing it. With your help can finish school and show my kids that it's never too late to follow your dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. I'm asking that you give what God puts on your heart to give. Whether it's $10, $50, or $500.

If you don’t feel comfortable donating online, feel free to mail a check or money order to: Heather Tyler, 12480 Grand Bay Farms Drive North, Grand Bay, Alabama 36541. Just notate that it’s for Heather’s College Fund.

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Proverbs 3:25

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