Norfolk State University Newsroom  

  Future NSU Graduate Completes Her Degree
  Despite Life Obstacles

Student_Yolanda Moore.jpg(NSU NEWSROOM--Dec. 14, 2013)--Yolanda Moore will walk across the stage during the Norfolk State University fall commencement ceremony at Joseph G. Echols Hall with hundreds of other graduates who will accomplish their dreams of earning a college education.

While Moore shares the same dreams as her peers—beginning a career, making her parents proud and becoming a productive citizen—the 33-year-old Chesapeake native says every step she takes toward her degree will be for her son and the community.

For the past 15 years, Moore has overcome personal obstacles to complete her bachelor’s degree in psychology. And every step was worth it, she says.

Moore first attended college in 1998 at another university but left after she became pregnant during her sophomore year. She gave birth to a son, who is now 13, who was born with Autism and other special needs.

Moore eventually left school for several years so she could care for him and give him the attention he needed.

But in 2004, she made a decision to pursue a degree at Norfolk State. Moore said completing her studies was the only way she could improve her situation and provide her son the full-time care he needed.

“He is the main reason why I started to go back and finish getting my psychology degree,” Moore said. “I had to accept the things that I couldn’t change and do it with a good attitude.”

While at Norfolk State, Moore said there were moments where she did not have childcare for her son, so instead, she brought him to some her classes. She said he loves the Green and Gold as well.

Moore credits several professors in the NSU Department of Psychology such as Department Chair Dr. Ernestine Duncan, Dr. Karen B. White and Dr. Karen Holmes for pushing her to finish her degree.

“It wasn’t my preference to bring him, but I had to do what I had to do,” Moore said. “My professors alleviated the stress by not making it a big deal that I was bringing him to class.”

Moore said all three professors were a blessing because they challenged her in her academic coursework and helped her to become a critical thinker. She said it has helped to prepare her for the next chapter.

“They didn’t cut me any slack,” Moore said. “In the long run, I will know what to do in my profession because of their instruction.”

Duncan said Moore is an example of perseverance, tenacity and is a good representation of the type of students who graduate from the NSU Department of Psychology.

“In spite of tremendous obstacles, her time at Norfolk State has been transformative,” Duncan said. “She has succeeded and will represent Norfolk State as a well engaged leader and productive citizen.”

Moore currently works as a psychosocial rehabilitation assistant at a local family services agency. She said she hopes to one day operate her own program for children with special needs to assist them with social development and independent living skills.

Moore said her son is her inspiration, and she wants to help other families who have children with special needs.

“He gives me a new outlook on things and has steered me in the right path and career to help others.”

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