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Eagle Spotlight

Ryan re-writes her future

By Hillary Omitogun
On October 23, 2015

Heather Ryan, Liberal Arts, maintains a high GPA while attending college and raising five children. Photo by Hillary Omitogun

Heather Ryan, Liberal Arts, is a non-traditional, part-time student who grew up in southern California, between two Native American reservations. By high school, she had moved past the San Diego County line and went to Temecula’s first high school. 

According to Ryan, “I was a bit of a ruffian before God took hold of me at age 16. I got married four years later and had five kids by the age of 28.” 

“I spent years as a stay-at-home mom, while my husband went to college. He did it working full time and got a 4.0. I don’t know how he pulled it off but I saw a determination in him I’d never seen when I told him I was pregnant with our first,” she said. 

Ryan added, “He’s an aerospace engineer, now. We moved to Iowa to offer the kids a better upbringing. When my youngest turned school-age, my husband said, ‘Now, it’s your turn.’ I closed down my in-home daycare business and signed up.”

Ryan said she maintains a high GPA while also taking care of her five children. She added that she has completed two Honors projects, one in composition and one in philosophy.                Ryan said she desires to grow herself because it is something she would have never done her first time at college. Now, she said she just wants to learn as much as she can to be a knowledgeable writer.

After graduation, Ryan said she would like to advance to University of Iowa’s writing program. 

“The Adult Accelerated Program will help with managing daily life: My job as a barista, taxiing kids around, all the events, keeping the house clean and having dinner on the table—a healthy dinner—I’m a stickler about that,” she said. 

Ryan said, “I’m here because I want to be. I absolutely devour each class I take. It’s such a treat to have some me-time. I only wish I could have understood that when I was younger. But I suppose, somehow, it was all part of a divine plan.” 

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