In September 2018, Care Net awarded a full tuition scholarship for Regent University to Lizzie Burton, a 19-year-old woman from Georgia who’d been a client at Options Now when pregnant with her daughter. Thanks to the scholarship, Lizzie was able to graduate from Regent in May, 2020. Care Net was delighted to hear from Lizzie about her experience during a recent interview. Excerpts from the interview are below.
Care Net: Can you give a brief overview of what life looks like for you right now?
Lizzie: I graduated from Regent University this month with a B.S. in Healthcare Management. It's funny to think that Kandler [Lizzie’s fiance] and I both have been in school even before Brooklyn [Lizzie’s daughter] was born. It's all she has known with us. Often times we have to say no to doing things because we both have projects or papers due. Needless to say, it has not been easy but definitely worth it. We are getting married in September and he will be graduating from the College of Engineering at UGA next spring. I am currently working with a non-profit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities. I enjoy working in this field but my end goal is to work with an organization like Options Now where we went while pregnant with Brooklyn. I hope to one day help support men, women, and families through uncertain times.
CN: What did you like about your experience as an online student at Regent?
L: Being able to go to school completely online was THE best thing I could have ever done! It was amazing and I was able to do school on my own time. I was still able to work a full-time job to provide for my family and get my degree.
CN: How has your faith helped you get through this time?
L: Many people don't know that before I received the Care Net scholarship, I was going to school at Valdosta State University. Brooklyn was a newborn at the time, I was working two jobs and going to school full time. In my second semester I ended up losing my state scholarship. Without that, I couldn't afford to continue school. About a month later, I received an email from Mrs. Becky Deas (Director at Options Now) asking if I would be interested in applying for the Care Net scholarship, which I ended up winning! This reminded me that faith is so important. God is always going to take care of us and there is no reason to worry. Since then, I always try to remember that even when it may feel like everything is falling apart, God has his hand in every situation and everything will work out according to his plan.
CN: What advice would you give to someone who just found out they were unexpectedly pregnant?
L: I would remind them that they have NOT failed. Life is not over. And they can still accomplish all of their goals. I often had to remind myself while I was pregnant that "premarital sex was the mistake, NOT the baby" and I think that is so important for all girls to understand.
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Care Net and Regent University will be awarding another full tuition scholarship to an exceptional pregnancy center client at it's annual conference in Orlando, FL, September 9-11, 2020.