College didn’t work out for Jessi Kendall the first time around, or even the second time. She left Xavier University of Louisiana after a bout with depression and took a waitressing job in Madison. She enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and continued to struggle, dropping out after a few month.
After Kendall returned to school for a third time in 2009, she discovered her passion in life. Helping her mother-in-law through a fight with cancer, along with becoming pregnant, convinced her to enroll in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. She obtained her degree with help from a Returning Adult Student Scholarship from Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS).
Kendall also received an Outstanding Undergraduate Returning Adult Student Award from ACSSS. These awards recognize returning adult undergraduate students whose exceptional perseverance has enabled them to pursue their academic work and to serve the community.
“Returning to UW-Madison to finish my degree has changed the way I look at myself,” Kendall says. “I was unsure; I doubted myself. I failed before at school, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it this time. Achieving the goal made me realize I had the ability to do that. That’s what I wanted to do, and I was able to do it, so bring on the next challenge!”
“I tell people all the time they should come back to school despite their fears about it,” Kendall says. “Because there is support out there. There are a lot of resources here.”