Student Spotlight – Kelli Jurey-Reetz

I had thought about going back to school off and on for about 10 years.  When I had gone the first time I had gone into accounting.  It was easy and convenient for me.  It has provided me with a good living and opportunities to be close to my children for after school activities.  When the company I work for downsized and I was moved to another department, it gave me the perfect opportunity to apply to Simpson’s graduate program.  I was still unsure and struggled with the idea.  I have always tried to raise my boys with a good heart and a strong backbone.  Telling them to grow up and make a difference.  When discussing the possibility of returning to school with my eldest son he indirectly referenced the proposal of when I was going to make a difference.  That was my pivotal moment.  I realized I hadn’t been taking my own advice.  My son actually had given me the last momentum I needed to apply.

What prompted you to earn your degree?

Change.  Nothing can ever change without those who are passionate enough to make a difference.  Everyone can look at a situation and not like it, complain about it and want to change it.  It takes someone in action to change it.

What is your major and why did you select it?

Master in Business Education w/ Special Education Endorsement – I have a passion to help everyone see the best in themselves and what they can achieve.  I have two younger brothers that are currently receiving special education benefits.  They don’t always get the understanding they deserve and need advocacy for change. (see above question)

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience?  Would you do it again?  Would you recommend it to other EW&G students?

It is difficult to juggle work, family and school.  You have to find what works for you.  What works for me won’t necessarily work for the next person, but you work at your own pace.  What you believe initially and practicality are two different things.  Your pace can change.  You might think you want one schedule and find out when you get started, in reality, something else works better.  Don’t be scared to adjust.  It is very rewarding.  I have found out more about myself than I could have imagined I would.  You are challenged by relating to material on a personal level; to your past, your present, your future, and relating it back to usefulness.

I would definitely do it again.  I will always recommend education to anyone.  If you are thinking about continuing on in your education or trying something new, do it!  Don’t wait as long as I did.

How has your experience at Simpson impacted your life? 

Enjoy the process, not just the final result.  Try to remember to keep yourself open to any experience and change because you have no idea who or what will influence you at any given moment.  You may become your own inspiration.  You may recall something about yourself you have forgotten, or you may actually start to see something in yourself that someone else does.  Enjoy the journey and those in it with you.

What has stood out to you as a fundamental part of your Simpson Experience?

Support.  The support you receive from the teachers, staff and the others students in the cohort is amazing.  Many times you may question yourself and what you have gotten yourself into.  Your fellow students will be the first to tell you that you are not alone.  Each step of the way, someone is directing or helping you.  This was very important for someone who hasn’t been in a school setting in “awhile”.

What do you plan to do once you graduate?

To be honest, I have a number of ideas, but when the opportunity presents itself, I will know what the best “fit” is for me.  I would love to find a position in an alternative school to focus on helping at-risk students reach full potential.

Or

Teach in a smaller school district where I could help at risk students, but also be involved with business curriculum.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Currently, my favorite vacation spot is Florida.  Due to my school schedule, I don’t get to visit my extended family as often as I would like.

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