Back to School ….It Isn’t Just for Kids

Adults in a classroom

Adulting isn’t easy!  When we are kids we always say, “I can’t wait until I’m an adult!”  But that reality sets in once you reach that milestone of 20, 30,40,50  and beyond.  Whether it’s marriage, career, kids, bills, health concerns or just the everyday of keeping the everyday moving.  Adulting is hard. 

And sometimes on top of all the everyday stuff is that dream of going back to school to finish, to get a higher degree or just to improve your own potential. 

But, earning a degree is different for adult learners than for those fresh out of high school.   Now that you’re at a different time in your life with more defined goals, life skills and experience your focus on going back to school can be for different reasons.

But as you ponder your next steps before or after retirement what do you need to ask yourself about taking the plunge and going back to school?

Will I Have Room in My Schedule?

Balancing a job, family, and other obligations with school won't be easy.  But it can be done. With the right amount of planning, you can too. When talking with school representatives, ask how many hours you can expect to spend in class and doing class work. Then, create a plan for how to divide your time each day. Simply knowing you have a plan can go a long way.

Beyond this plan, you'll need support from those around you. Before you start classes, let your family know that they'll have to pitch in a little more while you’re in school. Then, talk with your friends about why you’re continuing your education and how much this means to you, so that they can offer emotional support and will understand if you miss the occasional get-together.

Have I Been Out of School Too Long?

In reality, your life and work experience will likely benefit you as a student. Instructors appreciate adult learners who ask informed questions and bring real-world examples to class discussions. Besides that, if you've participated in continuing education courses, learned new software, or had to prepare for presentations at work, then you’ve already been using many of the same skills you’ll need in school.

Today, nontraditional students are becoming the norm and schools often design undergraduate and graduate degree programs with adult learners in mind.

Am I Skilled Enough with Computers or New Technology?

Online programs, these days are designed with ease of use as a key goal for everyone, regardless of technological expertise. So many careers require computer skills today anyway, so, while it might sound stressful, brushing up on your tech knowledge will be good for you.

Will I be Able to Manage the Cost of My Education?

An important aspect of returning to school is knowing what return on investment to expect from your program. Tools like the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook can offer helpful details about the value of education in specific fields. If you’re worried about the cost of degree completion, make sure you explore all options—including federal financial aid, employer tuition assistance, military benefits, and scholarships from private and public organizations. By transferring credit from past college experience, you may be able to save time and money. And remember, you can always take one or two courses to start and not a full course load.

Moving Forward with Confidence

Remember, age can play in your favor when going back to school. Life and work experience often teach lessons and skills that young students rarely possess, things like time management and not being afraid to seek help when it’s needed. As an adult, you’re likely more organized, responsible, and motivated to get your degree.

Remember going back to school now means you are doing this for you and for your own dreams, aspirations and goals.



Blog article by Yolanda Webb, Vice President Home and Community Based Services

Independence and Freedom

Sign saying “Independence.”

Independence and freedom are important topics to think about during July as we contemplate our great nation’s history. Many of our fellow Americans, including the brave men and women who serve in our military, have made great sacrifices to ensure that we all have freedom and independence. Their sacrifice can be felt by many as we celebrate our independence by honoring them and participating in activities that commemorate all they have endured.

The Veterans Administration Hospitals offer programs that help elderly and disabled veterans maintain stability by contracting with programs which supply aids and attendants based upon clinical need.  These aids and attendants offer skilled services in way of supportive assistance to insure that disabled veterans are able to meet their needs in their natural environment. Skilled attendants are not nurses but are supervised by nurses and are well trained in identifying issues that require immediate attention.  Attendants support veterans of all types including isolated veterans or ones who have caregivers needing relief.

Apelah’s mission is to provide supportive services to disabled and elderly vets by helping find peace of mind in knowing that they will be supported in their desire to maintain their independence.  Individuals under our care, are able to understand that they will always be treated with respect to their personal desires to live independently. Family caregivers may also find support in knowing that they are able to take a break from care by  

Our personalized care model provides support for loved ones in their natural environment while producing social and emotional connections to others.  Our staff provides services such as meal prep, ambulation support, medication reminders, assistance in bathing and dressing, and light housekeeping. Services such as these provide the freedom to have a peace of mind knowing that individuals are able to keep their independence while living in the comfort of their own home.  For more information, contact McCaa Russum at 662-429-3652.

Foster Parent Testimonial


We received this heartwarming testimonial from Ms. Debra Bridges, one of Apelah’s longest-running foster parents. Ms. Bridges is the adoptive mother of 8-year-old Dominique Bridges, who came to Apelah at the age of three and was bedridden, had severe brain damage, and was unable to talk, walk, or speak due to shaken baby syndrome that occurred at age 2. We will share Dominique’s story very soon, but we wanted to showcase Ms. Bridges’ amazing testimony because it speaks so loudly and clearly about the love and dedication it takes to be an Apelah foster parent. We hope you enjoy Ms. Bridges’ touching words as much as we did!

My name is Debra Bridges. I have been an adoptive parent for 15 years. My passion to help others and provide guidance ignited the fire in me to open my heart and my home to children in foster care. I’m a respite provider with the Partners in Permanency (PIP) post-adoption program. I strongly believe that God placed children in my life so I could help them. I have two boys of my own, and am the adoptive parent of three others. I am so proud of myself and believe that, with God on my side, I will continue caring for and loving these precious children.