Destiny Dishon

Destiny Dishon, first generation college graduate. 

Anyone can achieve just about anything when they put their mind to it and Destiny Dishon did just that by becoming the first in her family to graduate from college.

Dishon received her Associate of Arts degree as well as a certificate in Medical Billing and Coding from Great Falls College. She also took a few classes at Dawson Community College before COVID-19 hit and moved all classes online.

“Thank goodness I had an amazing professor, Jennifer Weeding, who had the patience to help me through the struggle,” said Dishon.

Dishon was in the market for a new job, so she visited Job Service to see what was out there. An employee approached her and asked if she had ever considered college, as she qualified for the WIOA program.

“I gave it some thought and decided that it would probably be the last opportunity I would have to further my education,” she said, regarding what sparked her interest in a college education.

Not only did Dishon have school on her plate, but she also has three kids to take care of, along with helping her grandparents, which was enough to keep her busy before adding college to the list. The only time she found enough quiet to really understand the material she was learning was at night. She sometimes found herself sacrificing hours of sleep for hours of study.

Along with the long nights and lack of sleep, there were other obstacles to overcome. COVID-19 proved to play a role in that. Suddenly she had 16 credits to complete, along with three children to homeschool.

“I ended up failing a few classes while trying to juggle everything and considered quitting college completely,” Dishon said.

But she just couldn’t bring herself to quit. With perseverance, she ultimately passed those classes the second time around. She even made the Dean’s list, and was also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

“Anyone can complete college if they put their mind to it,” she said. “Being a first generation college graduate in my family just means that I was the first one that had the guts to give it a try. I may have waited until I was in my thirties, but I did it.”

Dishon would like to thank her grandparents Les and Lori Stern, her children Taylor Dietrich and Blaiz and Rebel Dishon, Judith Anderson with the WIOA program, her professors.

“Last, but not least, I really want to thank all of the people who didn’t think that I could do this,” Dishon said. “Your words were what kept me going when I wanted to quit.”

For those considering returning to school or beginning the adventure of college, Dishon offers this advice, “If you really want something and are ready to put in the work and make the sacrifices necessary to achieve it, go for it.”

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