Tara L. Paige is an author and public speaker that teaches women how to acquire supportive friends and eliminate negative people in order to move them forward. She earned a master’s degree in education with a focus on integrative studies from Cambridge College.

(Photo Courtesy of Tara L. Paige)

(Photo Courtesy of Tara L. Paige)

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Why did you pursue a master’s degree?

“I wanted to further my career. I discovered the path to moving up the career ladder in my field was to get a master’s degree and to become certified as an administrator. Also, I wanted to be a good example for my son. I was a single mom and wanted to be able to offer my son a better life that was rich in life experiences.”

What would you tell someone who is considering returning to school to earn a master’s degree?

“You only get one shot at living. If the path you choose to take includes obtaining a master’s degree, then go for it! Don’t stop until it’s done. Stay focused and never forget your “why?” A master’s degree can be an important part of your journey. Stay the course and be empowered.”

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What was the biggest challenge you faced when pursuing your master’s degree?

“My biggest challenge was my “Why.” I was a single mom. I had to leave my young son with my parents. At the time I felt horrible; I second-guessed my decision and almost quit. I almost forgot my “Why?” My son was my reason. I had to do this for him. I hopped on a plane to Boston and set out to pursue my master’s degree. Later, I was able to complete my studies online so that I could be with my son.”

What was the biggest reward for earning the master’s degree?

“It gave me the ticket I needed to move up the career ladder. I remember my son smiling when I walked across the stage. The very reason why I did what I did stared at me with his big hazel eyes and hugged me so tight at the foot of the stage. Just to think, I almost gave up! My why? My reward? My son’s smile! He was proud of me and I am glad I stayed the course!”

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Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com