Psychology Graduate Shows Sons That Quitting is not an Option

Image Smiling Woman Student Chenelle Duncan

When Chenelle Duncan receives her diploma, there will be two rambunctious little boys in the audience – Jayden, 8, and his brother, Jordan, 3.

Chenelle said earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology was a lesson in perseverance for the whole family. She started at another university when Jayden was four years old. “He saw me struggle to work, raise him, go to school, and tend to all of the other things that mothers and wives have to do” she recalled. “He saw me quit.”

When she decided to come back, Jayden was not shy about expressing his doubts. “He said, ‘Aren't you too old?” she laughed. “I smiled and replied ‘No, mommy is not too old. Mommy has the opportunity and capability of bettering herself, so that's just what I'm doing’,” she said.

The EKU Online format worked for her. “From day one I had the guidance I needed to achieve my goals. The entire program is 100% online and with my busy schedule, this was perfect!” said Chenelle.

One of the many benefits of continuing her education was serving as a role model for her children. When Jayden was frustrated after a rough soccer match, he wanted to quit.

“I wanted to be the type of influence in his life that didn't just tell him to do something, but to show him,” remembered Chenelle.  She encouraged him by talking about her college experience and how she could start again with more determination than ever to achieve her dreams. “He finished out the season, and I was so proud of him!” she said.

Her EKU Online experience has given her own life direction, too. Like many people, she was unsure about what path her career should take. “I never knew exactly what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be, but I knew exactly who I wanted to be,” she explained. Chenelle always wanted to impact the lives of others in big and small ways. She wanted to show people that someone cared.

Her course work laid the foundation for her career goals. “There were several classes that I had taken pertaining to child psychology and development, but Psychology 312, Infant and Child Development, really paved the way for leading me to want to work with children,” she said. The class helped her recognize that nurturing children from a very young age can truly shape their lives into adulthood, which inspires her.

Chenelle is graduating in December and one of the nominees for the EKU Online eCaps Outstanding Student Award. She was recommended by Dr. Myra Beth Bundy, a professor of psychology. Dr. Bundy praised Chenelle for her “positive attitude and eye toward succeeding,” in her nomination. Her determination shows.

“Having this degree gives me the confidence and knowledge to pursue any and all of my career goals,” said Chenelle. She is now exploring jobs where she can help children.

“It has all been worth it—every minute, every tear, every late night and frustrating moment. It has all been worth it to just get here,” she said. “To stand up on graduation day in front of my sons and show them that when you put your mind to something, anything is possible: that will be the most rewarding thing. All I really need is for them to be proud of me.”

Published on December 05, 2017