Sheila Arias’ Success Story

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but Shelia Arias, a single mother of two children, says it also takes a village to earn a degree.  And that’s just what she’s doing with the support of many people who have encouraged her along the way.

After several years of taking courses on and off at her local community college, Sheila had a conversation with her, then, supervisor who had completed her master’s degree at UMO.  After hearing radio ads and seeing ads online, she knew that the online format was a better fit for her busy lifestyle.  After that first phone call to UMO, Sheila knew this was where she needed to be.

From the initial support and encouragement from her admissions representative, Shelley, to the on-going guidance and communication with her academic advisor, Donna, to professors who reminded Sheila “she is never alone,” to her kids that reminded her that she can also follow her dreams – yes, it takes a village.  And, Sheila has an awesome village!

Sheila currently works as the NC Campaign Director for Mamás Con Poder, which means “Moms Rising Together” and the Moms Rising Education Fund.  She truly feels it is her mission to continue her support of parents with special needs children, because she knows without the support she’s been given, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

Upon completion of her Bachelor or Science in Human Services in August, Sheila wants to continue her support and advocacy for parents of children with special needs. She understands that many barriers need to be removed so these families can thrive.  A graduate program is in the future because Sheila admits, “My job here just got started!  I have so many dreams and so much to do in this world.”