DECATUR (1080 KRLD) – At 48-years-old Connie Lewis thought she was too old for college.
But when her 18-year-old son Damon, who attends Decatur High School, began applying to schools he had a different thought: for his mom to go with him.
After graduating high school, Connie, who spent 20 years in the military, initially offered to transfer her GI Bill to to her son, who joined the Army Reserve as a high school junior, to help pay for his college tuition.
However, Damon received his own military scholarship, along with an athletic scholarship for track & field. So he suggested for his mother to use the GI Bill for herself.
“And he was like, well, why don’t you use it?” said Lewis. “I told him I don’t know. I’m too old to go to college.”
Lewis said Damon kept after her until she decided to join him on a trip to visit Bethany College in Kansas.
“I took him up there and talked to some of the people and everybody was really nice. It seemed like a nice place to go and they had a forensics major. I really love forensics,” she said.
It sealed the deal. Lewis agreed to go to school with her son.
“Yeah, we’re going to be up there for four years! At least,” she laughed.
Lewis said she’s keenly aware not every son would be eager for their mother to join them at college. But she’s grateful Damon is different.
“He wanted to see me do something I guess I really liked or made me happy. Because ever since I was in the military I’d go from job to job. I didn’t mind doing my time but it’s not something i wanted to do long term,” she said.
“I thought if you really want to do it, go for it. Try it.”
Lewis said she hopes other people will be inspired by her taking a chance and you’re never too old for change.
“I would say look deep inside and think about what you really really really like to do and try and go for something that way. Because that’s the only thing I think about,” said Lewis. “You know, all these jobs I had and stuff they were okay but not something I wanted to do all the time. I think about forensics and i’m excited. It makes me feel good.”