|For Margaret Amina, returning to school
after 21 years wasn’t easy, but, she said, “I am
learning a great deal about myself, others, and my major.”
Amina, a management major at HPU, is a single mother with a full-time
job. A Kalihi resident, who has worked in the hospitality and
restaurant industries for 20 years, said she wanted to advance
in her career.
Even though I know more (than others) and work hard, I was told
I wasn’t qualified for certain management positions,” she
said. “I was told I needed to get my degree.”
Two years ago, she responded to a radio commercial announcing
an Hawai‘i Pacific University’s information sessions
for adult students. At the session she was able to set up a meeting
with HPU’s Center for Graduate and Adult Services, and
after talking with an academic advisor, she enrolled part time.
Amina takes two classes per semester or term. With seven start
dates at HPU throughout the year, a student can move as quickly
as he or she wants to complete her studies.
Raised by parents who did not complete high school, Amina said
her high school diploma was viewed as “good enough” for
her family. However, time, technology, and a more competitive
job market made her consider returning to school, particularly
when she saw employees with fewer years of service being promoted.
How has Amina managed her course load? She credits a loving and
supportive family that shares her excitement when she learns
a new idea or technique in class.
It feels good when one of my sisters asks me how to troubleshoot
on the computer, and I can solve a problem,” said Amina,
who is the eldest of nine siblings. “I also thank my son
who helps me with my favorite subject, math,” she added,
with a smile.
Amina also appreciates the support and encouragement of her instructors
and academic advisor at HPU.
One teacher told me, ‘Maggy, you don’t need to look
over your shoulder to see how fast your classmates are keyboarding.
Just focus and pay attention to the work. You’re doing
just fine.’ The teacher wasn’t just being nice,” she
said. “He meant it. I earned an A in his computer class.”
Working for many years, this college student says it is very
easy to get comfortable quickly with “the routine” of
going to work. And with a college degree, Amina said, “no
one can take it away from me. I know I’ll succeed more
as a person, professional, and parent. HPU is helping me do just