February marks the month of love. While Valentine’s Day only represents romantic love to some, love for your family, love for your friends and love for your community are all equally, if not more, important than any date you may be going on.
Just this week, I saw an outpouring of love for one of those in our Waldorf family.
I took a call from an online student who was deployed in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Dibrell is taking his final courses to earn a bachelor’s in criminal justice. He was moved to reach out because of the amazing experiences he has had at Waldorf. He couldn’t wait until graduation to share just how transformative his Waldorf education was. While he praised all aspects of his education, he singled out his academic advisor, Debra Waldrop, who had been there with him every step of the way. He wrote in his follow up email to Debra:
“If I had not had you as my academic advisor for the past five years, my life would be incredibly different. I’m not saying it would be bad, but you opened my eyes to what I could be, what I could do, in a way that I’ve never thought possible. You took a soldier that was scared to death of starting college and made me want to see the world and beyond. Now I can say that I have two degrees because of you.
I still remember calling you almost every day to ask you 101 questions. Not once did you ever get mad at me or act like I was getting on your nerves, but instead you made me feel like I was the most important student. Mrs. Waldrop, you are a true blessing to me. There were times when I felt overwhelmed by trying to accomplish work and school. Sometimes work won the battle, but you stepped right in to help me get back on track and walked me through on how to apply for a course extension.
You have changed my whole aspect on my learning. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. Your encouragement and persistence in my time at Waldorf University has taught me that I am who I am, and to get to the top, it’s all up to me. I am capable, but it will take hard work and lots of dedication.”
Staff Sgt. Dibrell’s experience mirrors many of the comments I receive from Waldorf students, whether they are taking classes in Forest City or online from around the world. It is both humbling and inspiring to hear the positive impact that a Waldorf education has had on a student, especially one who has dedicated his life to serving and protecting us.
This month, I encourage you to demonstrate your love for all of the people and things that make your life better, easier or more enjoyable. Write a note, send a gift or show your appreciation in other ways. A little love for your common man goes a long way.
Have a great month!