Adult Degree Program student honored, graduates with son

As a junior transfer student and working a full-time job any student would question if school was the right fit for them.

By enrolling in the Adult Degree Program Deborah Marsh was able to work and attend school.

“I am thrilled to still be able to graduate from Linfield,” Marsh said.

This year Marsh received the Adult Degree Program Alumni Scholarship which is only given to high achieving students.

Shocked and honored by her award she was extremely grateful to receive recognition.

Marsh was shown support, through this scholarship, which aided her through the most difficult parts of her journey.

Majoring in social and behavioral sciences through the Adult Degree Program, Marsh feels that her entire experience at Linfield College has been amazing.

“I think my favorite part was in the Environmental Studies with Nancy Broshot. I got pretty close to her and others in my class and the fact that I was over 40 didn’t really stand in the way. I really felt a part of Linfield,” Marsh said.

Marsh will not be alone on stage at graduation. This June she will be sharing the stage with her son, Adam Kearl, as they are both are given recognition for graduating this year.

Marsh shares that it is an emotional time to be graduating and how proud she is of her son’s accomplishments.

“I hope we will be allowed to walk together to celebrate our hard work and accomplishment,” Marsh said.

Marsh works for Yamhill County Behavioral Health in the Abacus Program where she is a peer support specialist and Community Support & Integration Teams Coordinator.

Through Marsh’s time there, she says that the program has helped to support her through some difficult times.

Through offering supported employment and wellness classes she has been able to work though even the roughest patches.

Marsh once doubted if she would even graduate. Now there is no doubt in her mind.

The end is in sight and she is in the final stretch. The scholarship that she received gave acknowledgement to her outstanding achievement and reinforced that Linfield truly is her home, and will support her during her time here.

She is overwhelmingly appreciative for the scholarship she received.

“I am so grateful, I am grateful to God, to my family, my fellow students, professors, all the staff that have made this dream a reality,” Marsh said.

“That sort of sounded like an Academy Award speech but it is true…I could not have accomplished this without the love, support, and encouragement of all of these individuals; especially to come out of a life of hopelessness and into a life of promise. What an adventure.”

Kathryn Devore / Staff writer

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