All in Good Time The Story of a Single-Mother Student

Andrea Stanley is a single mom with a passion for piano. While attending Walla Walla University in 2002, she successfully auditioned for music major status, but ended up leaving shortly after.

During a visit to her sister and brother-in-law in August, she took a walk with her 2-year-old daughter.

"I needed some quiet time to think about the direction my life should go," says Stanley. "I found myself in the Fine Arts Center, playing the piano. At that moment I realized I was missing a piece of myself. I needed to come back to WWU and get the music degree I'd started."

It wasn't an easy process. There was paperwork to fill out, including not only an application but a request for financial aid, which Stanley knew may not be readily available, since it was so late in the year. Fall quarter was only a month away. She also had the added responsibility of finding daycare for her daughter.

"Everything that shouldn't have happened so quickly, did," says Stanley. "I finished everything in three days, including finding a place to live and a daycare for Felicity. God blessed me in a big way."

Through scholarships, grants and loans, in addition to an on-campus job, Stanley was able to make her passion come to life.

"I feel like I'm part of a big family here," she says. "It even feels like family when I come to work. I feel incredibly supported here and I'm definitely at a time in my life when I need that."

When she graduates with her music degree, Stanley plans to pursue both a master's degree and a doctorate in music. Her dream job is to teach piano at WWU.

"I want Dr. Richter's job," Stanley says with a grin, speaking of her piano professor who is currently on sabbatical. "When he comes back, I'm going to tell him that and I'm going to ask him how I can get there."

December 01, 2010 / Walla Walla University

Becky St. Clair, WWU GLEANER correspondent