REDDING, Calif.—After months of balancing two jobs while attending school, Judith Jimenez successfully graduated from Simpson University’s School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Jimenez, a 26-year-old Red Bluff resident, was one of about 150 students to graduate from Simpson University in Redding on April 28.
Before starting middle school, Jimenez wanted to become a teacher. She kept this dream alive while attending Red Bluff High School and eventually decided to enlist in classes at Shasta College. During her time at Shasta, Jimenez earned her associate’s degree in humanities with a certification for early childhood education.
“The first time I have ever heard of Simpson University and ASPIRE was when I was a Shasta College student and I saw the table that said ‘Simpson University’ out on the quad area,” she said.
Hesitant at first, Jimenez decided to pursue her bachelor’s and fill out an application for ASPIRE in the spring of 2015.
Although she successfully finished the ASPIRE program, it did not come without its challenges.
“I was working at Subway and Burger King,” she said. “I worked part time in both jobs, but it felt like I was working full time.”
Jimenez enjoyed Simpson’s ASPIRE program because it offered classes in the evening. “It gave me the chance to work during the mornings and get things done before I needed to head to class,” she said.
Jimenez said she would recommend the ASPIRE program to others. “Students can complete their degree in 12 to 16 months instead of two years in another school,” she said.
Having her degree will change her life, she said. “It will open the doors to new opportunities and new job environments.”
Jimenez visited her family in Mexico after graduation to celebrate, and said she hopes to work in either foster care or social services.
Learn more about Simpson University’s ASPIRE program at simpsonu.edu/aspire.
Photos by Sarah Barrows
Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, A.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.