Stories of Strength & Resilience | Morgann Bell

  • June 23, 2020

Morgann Bell
Tucson, AZ

Morgann is a lead teacher at Imagine Preschool at Innovation Academy in Tucson, AZ. As a First Things First scholar recipient and with funding from the Pima North Regional Partnership Council, Morgann graduated in May from Western New Mexico University with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education.

Read a message from Morgann:

I started my college career nearly nine years ago when I graduated from high school. College was always my expectation and goal since I was young; it was something my parents have always talked about with me. As I was growing up, neither of my parents had a college degree and it was something they wanted to change for their children. When I began college, my dad a captain paramedic firefighter of 25 years at the time decided that he to wanted to obtain his college degree. We both began our college journey at the same time. Once he finished his associate degree, he moved right into his bachelor’s degree and graduated in October of 2018. Seeing him start from scratch and pursue his college degree at 48 years old and finish with a bachelor’s degree was all the motivation I needed to obtain mine. Seeing him learn new technology, study, and work diligently is what inspired me the most to keep pushing in my pursuit of a college education.

I was incredibly lucky in my goal of higher education to have the support that I received from family and friends. I have a family that supports my dreams no matter what they are, and both of my wonderful parents played a key role in ensuring I reached my goal. When I felt like I could not write one more paper, needed to burst out with tears from stress, and felt like giving up my parents were right there to build me up. I also have a tight knit group of friends that all have higher education and understood my anxiety and stress levels and were always there to relate and help me through the bumps. My friends and family pushed me to not give up and were always there when I needed them the most. My boyfriend pushed me harder than anyone to finish school. He provided me with a new laptop when I started my bachelor program since it was going to be the tool I needed most. He is a college graduate and understands the joy that comes with being one and how supportive it is throughout life. I credit him with keeping me extremely motivated. I also expect the best out of myself, have self-discipline and drive to meet my objectives.

Throughout the process of obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I worked full-time as a preschool teacher. While working, I was blessed to receive promotions which came with more responsibilities and more of a workload. Having more responsibilities relating to work proved to be difficult to maintain a full course load. I ended up taking a year off school because I was so drained from working and going to school. After realizing that taking the year off did not get me further in my dreams, I quickly got back into school. It was at this point that I transitioned from my general study requirements into my core studies. What helped me the most was having understanding bosses that supported my studies and often checked in on my stress levels and always supported me with school being the priority. Having principals and directors that wanted me to become a certified teacher and understood the importance of it is how I navigated through the work and school balance. I also made it a point to have daily self-care outlets like working out, having a treat, or simply watching brainless television. Being aware of self-care needs was the most important part of staying on track.

For those that are enrolled in courses or thinking about enrolling in courses, my advice is to stay on track and go for it. An investment in yourself is never wasted, and the hard work WILL pay off. A college degree is something that can never be taken away and will always provide security for a person’s life. Time is continuously passing, and every year spent not investing in your future is a wasted year.

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