Sharon Lark

My journey to higher education began, like most, with a desire to obtain a degree. I had attempted to pursue a degree several years earlier, but life got in the way. Divorce and illness put a fork in the road. My journey was derailed, but I never lost the hunger.

I enrolled at Vance-Granville Community College in the summer of 2010. With most of my children gone, this seemed like the best time for me to finally travel down that road. I talked it over with my 19-year-old son. He said “Ma, you can do it. I got you.” I am raising two granddaughters and knew I needed additional help with caring for them. He was all for it. I signed up for summer classes.

My son picked the girls up from daycare, took them to the park and even cooked dinner on the nights I had class. Things looked like they were going well. I could see the road signs that read “Accounting Degree - 76 credits ahead” and that is where I put my focus. I must have missed the warning sign that said “Warning! Dangerous curves ahead.”

The summer session went well. Then began the fall semester; that’s when everything went haywire. Six days after the semester started, my son was killed in an auto accident. My world came to a crashing halt. Although my family engulfed me with support, I thought about dropping my classes, but I could hear my son telling me “Ma, you can do it. I got you.” So that’s when I decided that the education I achieve isn’t just for me; it is for both of us. I was going to do all that I had to do to see this journey through to the end. So the day I hold the degree in my hand from Vance-Granville and the one I plan to earn from a four year university, I can say, “Yeah, son, see, I got you, too.”