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Mother Finds Path Back to School at Midland College with her DaughterAugust 01, 2019

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Priscilla Lopez

Mother and daughter duo Priscilla Lopez and Eaden Arriola are conquering Midland College (MC) together. Lopez began taking classes in May 2017. Arriola graduated from Midland High in May 2018 and followed her mother to MC that fall.

“I let life get in the way of going to school,” Lopez said. “Raising my daughter took center stage; that is why I am now going to school with her.  That arrangement was not the plan. Honestly I said I never wanted to go back to school.”

Five years ago, Lopez dedicated her life to God. She began worshiping consistently at Family of Faith Christian Center. She got involved teaching Sunday school and she is on the Praise and Worship team.

“I want to make God proud, and I know He has plans for me,” Lopez said. “I had to seek out my purpose through prayer, asking God, ‘What do you want me to do with my life?’ Sure enough, He started dropping school in my heart. I have learned to never say ‘never’ because I am doing everything I said I would never do. I said I was never going to have a baby, I was never going to get married and I was never going back to school; however, now I have done all those things. The Lord has completely taken me out of my comfort zone many times. Each time I put my trust in Him, and He has helped me every step of the way. With school, He is here in the incredibly helpful staff and faculty at MC.”

MC has helped Lopez and Arriola through scholarships. Arriola has received the Legacy scholarship, which covers tuition and fees up to $1,050 for fall and spring terms renewable for up to four years and Lopez has received the Barbara O’Schaughnessy Endowed Scholarship, the Dragisic Memorial Scholarship and the Marian Jones and Jan Jones Memorial Scholarship.

“I was really worried in the beginning.  Honestly, I had no idea how we were going to take care of school,” Lopez said. “I thought, ‘How are we going to pay for both of us going to school at the same time?’ I assured my daughter that she came first. I prayed about it, and the best thing happened: the Lord told me, ‘I got this,’ and we each received very generous scholarships.”

Lopez is almost finished with her associate degree. She has been able to take almost all her classes online so she can balance work and school. Professors of in-person classes have worked with Lopez to allow her to take them online instead of in a traditional classroom setting. She completes schoolwork in the evenings, sometimes staying up till midnight on days of deadlines. She appreciated professor Dr. Chris Brown’s availability during her last online class.

“At the beginning of class Dr. Brown said he would check his email diligently,” Lopez said. “I reached out via email and told him basically to be ready for me because I will take advantage of that offer.  If you are going to answer my questions, I am going to ask dozens of questions before submitting an assignment. True to his word, he would always get back to me. His positive responses built my confidence. I would think ‘Yay, I am on point,’ and it made me excited to learn more.”

“Priscilla has a great personality that comes through in emails, and MC’s cloud-based Learning Management System, Canvas,” Dr. Brown said.

“I am always myself when writing to professors. I cannot be fake because I am focused on what I am learning,” said Lopez. “I am excited about school, and my classes have been amazing. When I am excited I cannot contain it, and that buzz comes through in all my communication.”

Lopez hopes everyone has the courage to go back to school no matter where they are in life.

“We never stop learning,” Lopez said. “You do not know your limits till you push yourself. I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was; I am bolder than I thought I was; I am more courageous than I thought I was; and I am smarter than I thought I was. If I had not trusted in God, stepped out in faith and gone back to school at MC, I would never have uncovered these attributes.”

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