Tag Archives: Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: My Educational Journey

This week’s student spotlight comes from ELI student, Geofrey as he shares about what he has learned through his educational journey at NOVA.

I have learned from experience, that education never ends, has no age limit and can benefit all persons who choose to further their knowledge in different fields and aspects of life. I’m a Ugandan-American and unlike many of my college-mates at Nova, I was not born in the US nor went to high school here. Also unlike my college friends, I’m a bit on the “older side” to be taking classes with them at this point. Being in your thirties and taking classes with eighteen to twenty year-olds used to feel funny, but the environment and professors at campus are so welcoming, friendly and always willing to help. I have gotten used to going to classes without feeling ashamed or embarrassed of my extended age. I found out that no one really cares about yours or my age. My busy life has had me take classes off and on for the last few years without a definite end in sight, and I’d love to share two aspects that have helped me blend in as an older enthusiastic outsider.

Make Goals

Believing, determination and having a concrete vision is key. I always knew that I needed to complete my education and earn my degree, but was never fully vested in doing the work and getting it done. Time goes fast when you procrastinate. Making realistic goals, checking on my progress and seeking for ways to balance my education with family and work life to better focus on earning my degree has been key. I knew that if I didn’t make goals, there would be nothing to look forward to and therefore wouldn’t see a need to work hard. So, I made goals and made plans to achieve them.

Stay Positive

No one is looking, and if they are, they are on your side. Even though I knew I had what it took to be successful, my first classes at Nova were filled with a bit of self-doubt. Am I too old, will I fit in, what will they say; were questions in my head. Staying positive, asking questions and making new friends were key to gaining confidence on my college career. So, the best way for me was finding those things that made me relevant, making friends and consulting with my career counselor as much as I could. Soon or later my doubt was gone and I was part of a family. This happens to almost everybody, but the key is to stay positive and optimistic. The system is set up to help you and you alone- utilize it and you’ll be just fine!

Interested in submitting a post for our ELIfe blog? Contact elistulife@nvcc.edu for more information.

ELI Student Spotlight

The Be SAFE Around Water Campaign

My name is Abigail and I am a competitive swimmer, swim coach, and lifeguard. Teaching people, particularly children, how to swim is my passion. Drowning is the number one cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. By educating children on what to do if they fall in the water we could play a part in saving lives. I visited over 200 kids at various organizations, such as church and VBS groups, and gave my presentation.

The Be SAFE Around Water Campaign is designed to give children simple steps to follow if they fall into water. I created an acronym of the word “safe” to give children something easy to remember.

Be Safe Around Water (002)







Be SAFE Around Water

Stop. When you approach water stop and look around for an adult or lifeguard. If no one is around then do not enter the water or go near the edge of the water.

Ask. If you accidentally fall into the water call out and ask for “help” as loud as you can.

Float & kick. Kick your feet and get your head above the water. Then push your belly up and lay on your back so that you are floating. Then kick your feet to the nearest wall or land.

Exit. Exit the water and go tell an adult or lifeguard what happened.

Want to write for the ELI Student Blog? Share your story? Connect with your peers? Send us a writing sample to get started. Email ELIStuLife@nvcc.edu for more information.