Alda Taube's long road to graduation proves well worth the effort

Nearly everyone in Alda Taube's family has earned a college degree. But when her family moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in the early 1990's, her plans were put on hold. Her immediate priority was getting a job to support herself and her family.

At the age of 19, Taube began working at Parkview Hospital in the housekeeping department. After six months of proven dedication, she received a glowing recommendation from her supervisor and transferred to a unit clerk position. Taube was later promoted to unit assistant - a cross-training of a unit clerk and nursing assistant - and has been in that position for the past 14 years.

Many would be content with that level of success. For Taube, though, it was an inspiration to pursue even loftier goals. And now, as a result of her drive and determination, she has become her family's most recent college graduate, earning an associate degree in nursing from Ivy Tech.

Taube says she couldn't have chosen a better place to attend college. She wanted a quality education, but - as a mother of three - she needed and affordable option close to home. Ivy Tech gave her everything she needed while also providing her with a degree employers know and trust. Taube also appreciated that many Ivy Tech students shared the same challenges in balancing their work, college, and family life responsibilities. Through study groups, these students have become Taube's lifelong friends. They even coordinated studying for their state board exams together in and they all passed their boards in June of this year.

After waiting so long to attend college, Taube became a very focused, serious student. Despite the challenges she faced along the way, she immersed herself in her classes and clinicals, striving to learn as much as possible.

"You have to commit to the program with time and resources," Taube says. "Having a very understanding husband didn't hurt either. You take one semester at a time - and if you fall, you get back up."

Taube credits Ivy Tech with giving her a strong foundation in nursing that is very applicable to her career now, and hopefully in the future as well. She feels more confident than ever in making decisions. In fact, she now plans to continue her education and work toward a career as a pediatric nurse.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of her success, however, is that it has ensured that her family's tradition of earning a college degree will extend to the next generation. Taube is already talking to her children about the importance of education - at Ivy Tech, in particular.

"I tell them that it's worth the hard work and sense of accomplishment when you graduate," Taube says with a smile. "This is something you do for you. It's an investment in yourself."