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Turning the Tables: How $12 Turned Into a College Education

Published on February 20, 2013 by Peter Tomala

degree in business management How education comes into someone’s life is always different for everyone. It can be through a mentor, family member or friend, but for others, there is a defining moment that changes it all. For Broadview University-Layton student RaeAnn Johnson, that moment came while waiting on tables.

“I just had a baby and I remember one day I left serving with only $12…that was rock-bottom,” said RaeAnn. “I knew I needed to do something for me and my daughter.”

That moment exemplified a past where she didn’t find the right educational home at a community college nor bigger state school, but was determined to do more for herself.

“Looking back, I had no goals for myself but once your mindset changes, it is easier to accomplish something,” added Johnson. “Once I set my goal that I wanted to do something more with my life, it was easy to make the decision to come back [to school].”

Taking charge of your destiny is easier said than done, especially when “life” gets in the way. But using an event or an individual as motivation can get you started.

“My daughter is my major driver, but every quarter my self-confidence has come up; doing it for others will only get you so far,” remarked Johnson.

It’s the ability to take control while understanding that you have support that RaeAnn thinks is the best way to start and complete your educational journey.

“Know what you can take on,” advised Johnson. “You need to know yourself and what you are capable of, recognize if you do need help and not be afraid to ask.”

RaeAnn will finish her associate degree in business management in the early fall and plans to return to Broadview to complete her bachelor’s degree. As her confidence goes up, so do the goals, which continue to raise her bar.

“Short-term, my goal is to move up into management. I’m very vocal with my employer about school and moving up,” Johnson said. “My long-term goal is to own my own business; that’s what I came to study for.”

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