Bonnie Gillmeister did not know where her education would take her when she enrolled in the paralegal degree program at Globe University. Bonnie enrolled in the university’s online program in August of 2009 after she lost her job due to a work injury; Bonnie chose online because of the flexibility with her busy schedule and the ability to work through the weekly course material at times that were convenient for her.
Bonnie faced many challenges while earning her paralegal degree, including struggling with time management, health problems and not believing in her own ability to earn her degree. Bonnie says, “Every instructor that I had was amazing and very helpful through my tough times. I focused on my goals. I wrote them down to prove to myself that I can graduate with a 3.0 or higher.”
While on this journey, Bonnie met one instructor that stood out: Laurie Haj Ashab. Laurie was Bonnie’s Keyboarding I instructor in the Spring Quarter of 2010.
Laurie introduced herself via Pronto (Blackboard Instant Messenger) and explained what the class was going to entail for the semester. Bonnie knew from that day forward that Laurie would be the mentor that she needed for guidance and support through the rest of her studies at Globe University. Laurie and Bonnie chatted on Pronto about coursework as well as things going on outside of the class. Bonnie and Laurie’s relationship continued to develop as they stayed in touch through the remainder of Bonnie’s courses. Bonnie says that Laurie became like her adoptive mother and Laurie sent her care packages and cards of encouragement.
Laurie continued encouraging Bonnie by telling her, “You cannot give up and you can do this. You are a smart girl and you will be better in the long run because of your degree.”
Laurie promised that she would travel across the country to see Bonnie graduate in the 2012 Early Fall quarter. Laurie arrived on Sept. 30, and she and Laurie met in person, had dinner and chatted for hours.
The next day at graduation Bonnie was excited to celebrate her paralegal degree and Laurie was pleased to be a part of Bonnie’s special day. As Bonnie reflected on her time at Globe University, she knows that she learned so much more than how to be a paralegal; Bonnie learned about time management, patience, hard work, positivity and being a go-getter.
Bonnie says, “I achieved earning my associate’s degree with help from some amazing instructors who wanted me to succeed. The one that I would like to thank the most is Laurie Haj Ashab, for being there for me. I would like to thank Globe University for offering online courses that meet the needs of busy students.”