Over the past decade, Misti Jorges has journeyed across the world with her husband, a corpsman in the U.S. Navy. At every turn, University of Maryland University College was there to help her achieve the dream of earning a college degree.
Jorges and her husband Chad started off at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and four years later changed stations to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy.
While stationed in Italy, caring for her infant daughter, Jorges was struck by a strong sense of urgency to go back to college and finish her degree. She had the feeling that if she put off her college education any longer, she would never enroll. She visited a UMUC representative on base to learn what the university had to offer for military spouses.
"I was finally determined to enroll in college and start going for a degree," she said. "UMUC made that very easy for me. I just went into their office and started talking to them about how I needed to enroll, what kind of classes they had, and how the university works. It was the ease of being able to enroll in UMUC that really got me going."
Jorges began with two to three classes at a time online. The online classes were convenient because she could balance her family life and education while learning at her own pace, she said.
But as often happens, a new year brought a flurry of activity for the family. A month after giving birth to her son, the family traveled to Rome. Four months later, they flew 5,200 miles westward to Minnesota to attend a wedding. Three months later, the family was relocated to their current home at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California.
Rather than putting a hold on her education plans, the whirlwind year motivated Jorges to complete her degree. She was determined, and it just so happened UMUC had a presence at Camp Pendleton. Now, Jorges is focused on completing a bachelor's degree in English and eyeing two possible career paths.
"I want to get into the Air Force as an officer, working with their press office," she said. "My other goal is to become a high school English teacher. I really want to work with kids and be able to help shape them for the future."
With Jorges' determination and focus and the support of UMUC around the world, she is now closer than ever to achieving her goals.