Linda Relyea

Non-traditional student finds necessary support at Adams State

ALAMOSA, CO. (June 28, 2022) – Denver native, Desiree C. Lewis knows the challenge of pursuing a college education while raising a family. She first enrolled at Adams State University in 2007 and left to raise her family. Nonetheless, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at the 2022 spring commencement ceremony. “My decision to return to Adams State came easy because I knew that I could attend college with several resources available to me that would help increase my academic success.”

“Pursuing a college education is challenging to begin with, but to return to school with a family size of seven, presented a lot of challenges. I’m not the first in my family to receive my college degree. In fact, both my mom and I went back to college after we started our families. It appears to be a family tradition, one that I take great pride in.”

Family housing options was a factor to her success in the classroom. “I knew that living in an environment that was designed to help students secure affordable housing while pursuing their education was going to make a huge impact on my ability to stay focused and goal-oriented.”

The Psychology Department and One Stop Student Services were instrumental in helping Lewis accomplish her goal. “My professors were always encouraging and communicative. They helped me change the pre-existing narratives I had about what was possible for myself.”

One Stop staff members arranged payment plans, found financial resources, and even helped her find resources like the food pantry. “Together, the academic and financial support I received helped me sustain my motivation to complete my degree with Adams State.”

Lewis was a resident assistant and after graduation joined the housing staff as a resident director. “I really enjoyed working with students that have similar backgrounds and life circumstances as me, who are actively pursuing a better life for themselves and their families.

“Looking back on where I started, and seeing how much I’ve grown, there is a great sense of happiness, victory and optimism. This success story has been 15 years in the making, and without the love and support of my husband and five children as well as the educational and professional opportunities that Adams State has provided, I would not have been able to accomplish my goal to obtain my bachelor’s degree. In my opinion, this is just the beginning.”


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Desiree C. Lewis