Julia Oduol is the first GEM graduate in South Africa. She started her SNHU education in July of 2018, and pursued her Associate’s degree for six solid months with passion and dedication.
Earning a college degree had always been a goal of Julia’s, but because of financial constraints, she had to put her dream on hold. When she heard of the opportunity with SNHU, she knew that nothing was going to stop her from enrolling. “I know that education is necessary to succeed in my society, especially for a woman, and I’m happy that women are rising up,” she said.
As the second-born of six children – five of whom are girls – Julia is passionate about women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, and uplifting underprivileged women. She believes that every woman deserves to be given an opportunity in society and can be made possible when women can help each other to take responsibility for their actions, walk their talk, and believe in themselves.
Throughout her studies, Julia maintained her other defining roles: she is also a wife, the mother of a 12-year-old boy, a full-time employee at Catholic Welfare and Development (NGO), and a volunteer with organizations such as Sisters 4 Sisters, Women Investment Network, It Starts with Me, and Pamoja Women’s Network.
The GEM Program allows students work at their own pace and find a comfortable space where they shine, and Julia said that completing her degree in six months was made possible through a lot of self-discipline and her love for the program.
“Each and every goal and project was designed in such a way that I was able to apply what I learned at my workplace on a daily basis,” she explained. “My writing, presentation, and communication skills have tremendously improved.” Julia said that she uses the knowledge acquired through her program to complete those tasks with great confidence, and she hopes to enroll in for a bachelor’s degree program in 2019 to continue with her journey.