AIU Student Profile: Leanna C.

AIU Student Leanna C

2022 Graduate

Associate of Arts in Business Administration

Current Student, anticipated graduation October 2023

Bachelor of Business Administration

It would be easy to go from day to day just seeing what life hands you, but that’s not how Leanna C. lives her life. She lives her life with purpose. Having a purpose – and serving that purpose – is what pushes her forward.

“I want to gain all the knowledge that I possibly can, so I can give back to society and to my children,” Leanna says.

Right now, Chicago-based Leanna is serving her purpose by attending AIU. She already has her Associate of Arts in Business Administration (AABA) degree from AIU and is now pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a specialization in Healthcare Management.

“AIU changed my life,” Leanna says. “It definitely gave me a better attitude about myself, my wellbeing, and my purpose. I feel better knowing that I’m enhancing my education.”

She chose the specialization in healthcare management, as she has experience as a homecare aid and CNA. “I was able to get my hands into the administrative side. I would like to be more on the office side with training and HR. [Working in healthcare] is a rewarding job because you get to help someone else, giving that person a chance at life.”

While a lot of motivation to attend college comes from her boys, it started with her parents. “Momma and Papa definitely wanted me to finish college,” she says. Unfortunately, they would not live to see their daughter’s accomplishments. Shortly after Leanna started her associate degree, both her parents passed within six months of each other. “It was the most tragic thing that ever happened in my life. I talked to my advisor. I had doubts about continuing.” After speaking with her Student Advisor and receiving some encouraging words, she decided to continue in her program.

"I currently work as a substitute teacher at an elementary school. My degree opened a door for that opportunity; I had to have an associates. I definitely appreciate AIU having online classes; it led me to working within the school system. Having those classes helps me every day.”

Working online also afforded Leanna the freedom to keep up with her life. “For anyone who has all the normal things – work, children, day-to-day activities – AIU really aims to please. They give you that open range; you’re not confined to one date. I’m able to jump on within my timeframe.”

Though pursuing your degree is no easy feat, Leanna gets to see the fruits of her labor every day through the eyes of her children. “My four-year-old, Kyle, sits at the table with me while I’m doing my work. Then he’ll go get his little books and pretend like he’s working with me. It feels good to know that you have that effect on your child. My sixteen-year-old, Desmond, was so proud of me when I got my associate degree. He told me, ‘Mom, you’re so smart, you deserve it!’ Now he tells everyone, ‘My mom is getting her bachelor’s degree.’ It’s definitely worthwhile. My children give me that sense of accomplishment of being their mother, and I’m getting my education for them.”

To those thinking about pursuing their degree, Leanna has this advice: “Find something that’s going to serve a purpose. Education is something that can open a door and make you feel even more knowledgeable and better,” she says. “My education at AIU has given me the ticket to keep pursuing who I want to be.”

REQ1879315 11/2022