UMOStudentPursuesDreamswithDetermination

RTP–ForUniversityofMountOlive(UMO)studentEmilyDodson,lifehasbeenfullofupsanddowns。

Throughunexpectedeventsandobstacles,shehaslearnedtopersevereandcontinuetoachieveherdreams。

WhenDodson,anativeofMebane,graduatedfromhighschool,shedecidedtopursueaneducationatalocalcommunitycollege。

Whileshehadalwaysbeeninterestedincriminaljusticeandlawenforcement,herfamilywashesitanttoseehergointothatlineofwork。

Instead,shetriedotherfields,butshestruggledtofindsuccess。

ThisledtoDodsonworkinginavarietyofjobs。

Shewasabusdriver,aspecialeducationteachingassistant,andalongdistancetruckdriver。

Tenyearsago,herlifechangedcompletely–shebecameamother。

Dodsonstartedtothinkabouthowshewouldfinanciallyraiseherdaughterasasinglemom。

Inordertocreatethebestopportunitiesforherdaughterandherself,shedecidedtogobacktoschoolandgetherassociate’sdegree。

“IdecidedIwoulddowhatIhadalwayswantedtodo,andIenrolledincriminaljustice,’shesaid。

Aftercompletingherassociate’sdegreein2013,DodsonenrolledintoBasicLawEnforcementTraining(BLET)。

Again,sherealizedthatshewasembarkingonajourneythatwouldtakeperseveranceanddetermination。

Shehadanumberofvariablesworkingagainsther–beingoverweight,beingolderthantheaveragetrainee,andbeingasinglemom。

“Theoddswereagainstme,”shesaid。

However,Dodsonwasdetermined。

“IfthereissomethingthatIwantIwillworkhardtogetwhateveritis,”sheadded。

Inthesummerof2014,DodsoncompletedthetrainingandpassedtheexamtobecomeacertifiedpoliceofficerforthestateofNorthCarolina。

Sincethattime,shehasworkedinlawenforcementandcurrentlyworksforODSCompanyPoliceinBurlington。

Hertimeissplitbetweentwolocations–ahospitalemergencyroomandaclinicforpeoplewithpsychiatricneeds。

ShewasrecentlypromotedtothepositionofSergeant。

“Iamresponsibleforthesafetyofthepatientsaswellasthestaffandthepublic,”shesaid。

In2015Dodsonwaspresentedwithanotheropportunitytosethercareergoalsinmotion?

RepresentativesfromtheUniversityofMountOlivevisitedherplaceofemploymentandtalkedtotheofficersabouttheUniversity’sbaccalaureateprograms。

Dodsonsawthisasaperfectopportunity。

“ItookthatasasignthatitwastimeformetofinishwhatIstarted,”shesaid。

Withthesupportofherfamily,DodsonenrolledattheUMORTPlocationinthespringof2016。

AtUMO,Dodsonhasbeencontinuouslyimpressedwiththefacultyandstaff。

“UMOhasbeensuchapositiveexperienceforme,”shesaid。

ForDodson,UMO’sfaithbasedvaluesweretrulyimportant。

Inearly2017,shefacedsomehealthissuesthatrequiredhospitalization。

Throughoutthattime,shefelttotallysupportedbytheUMOcommunity。

“IwastouchedandcompletelymovedwiththeunderstandingandhelpthatIwasgivenbythepeopleatUMO,”shesaid。

Withtheirunderstanding,shewasabletokeepupandmaintainherGPA。

Dodson,now41,issettograduateonDecember16,withabachelor’sdegreeincriminaljusticeandcriminology。

Shehopestouseherdegreetocontinuegrowinginhercareer。

“Iamhopingtofindacareerthatfulfillsmydesiretohelppeople,butcanalsoprovideabetterfinancialsituationformeandmydaughter,”shesaid。

Dodson’sdaughter,Lakyn,isherinspiration。

“Iwanttobeanexampleforher。

Thiswillbetheseconddegreethatmydaughterwillseemeget,anditinspireshertoworkhardinschoolandhaveaspirationsforcollege,”shesaid。

AccordingtoDodson,herjourneywithcriminaljusticehasbeenfascinatingandexciting,andherexperienceatUMOhasbeenavitalpartofit。

Despiteobstacles,shehasbeendeterminedtopersevere。

“Ifyouwantsomething,thereisnothingthatcanstopyouexceptyourself。

Goforit,”shesaid。

TheUniversityofMountOliveisaprivateinstitutionrootedintheliberalartstraditionwithdefiningChristianvalues。

TheUniversity,sponsoredbytheConventionofOriginalFreeWillBaptists,haslocationsinMountOlive,NewBern,Wilmington,SeymourJohnsonAirForceBase,ResearchTrianglePark,Washington,Jacksonville,andinSmithfieldatJohnstonCommunityCollege?

Formoreinformation,visit?

www。

umo。