Danville, VA - Derwin Leigh, Sr. was laid off from his job in 2009 after 24 years of service, but he didn't let that keep him down."I took it as an opportunity " Leigh said.
Leigh learned about a program at Averett University being offered through the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center not far from his home. He knew it was his chance at a fresh start.
"It was geared towards working adults. So I said this should be me," said Leigh.
He had not set foot in a classroom since graduating from DCC in 1988, but in less than 3 years, Leigh had a Bachelor's degree.
He's just one of many working adults who walked across the stage last month.
"Probably in the range of 400 of those were adults and non-traditional students. Even in May there's a high percentage of adult students as part of the graduation," said Associate Vice-President of Graduate and Professional Studies Michael Parsons.
Averett has been offering their adult studies program for 25 years. In fact, about 50% of Averett's alumni went through the program.
Going back to school while juggling a career and family may be tough, but the department's Associate Vice President Michael Parsons says it is well worth the time and effort you put into it.
"Lay out your plan, set your goals and just work that plan day after day," Parsons said.
Parsons says many people make the mistake of putting off education goals.
"[The] time you spend postponing is time you could spend studying towards your degree," said Parsons.