She May Not be Superwoman, But She Is Super Determined

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Amy Overcash Barnes, of Raleigh, is the first full-time female police officer in the Rolesville Police Department.  She works two jobs, is happily married, and has two children.  Amy has started two charities: one that helps raise money for local families during Christmas, and one for the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.  She has taken required and elected classes for the police department, maintained her certifications, and managed to do all of this while earning a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from University of Mount Olive at Research Triangle Park.

Barnes says the lyrics to her favorite song encourage her, “Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride; the struggles make me stronger and the changes make me wiser”. The song is a mantra of her daily living.  Though her story sounds like a role fit for a superwoman, she admits that numerous times she wanted to give up, but knew that quitting wasn’t an option.  “I can’t do something I have taught my children not to do.”  While going back to school, her children, ages ten and twelve, stepped up and helped more around the house and even managed to “be quiet” when she needed to sleep.  “My family, friends, and co-workers have supported me, believed in me, and pushed me when I didn’t think I could keep going.  I can’t thank them enough.”

Barnes says her confidence has improved, and she’s learned to be a more organized and well-rounded person while attending classes at University of Mount Olive.  “The staff at the College has been amazing and dedicated to working with me on numerous occasions.”  She says her experiences at University of Mount Olive have helped her in writing reports, in analyzing situations, and in countless other ways in her line of work. She plans to apply for a sergeant’s position with the Rolesville Police Department.  “If I am promoted, I will be the first female sergeant there. It is a lengthy process which includes an application, written test, and an oral board. This is a new chapter in my life and only the beginning.”

Barnes admits that walking across the stage and accepting her degree will not be just for her, but for every person, especially her family and friends, who have stood by her through this entire process. “Education is very important, and I am proud to say that I am the first in my family to obtain a four year degree. This has been a very humbling experience and I wouldn’t change one moment.”  When it comes to gratitude for help along the journey towards obtaining her degree, she says that God gave her the courage to even begin and the will to continue.

University of Mount Olive will graduate approximately 250 students at its 58th commencement.

University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit