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Tyler Alum Overcomes Health Challenges to Complete her Degree

Posted on June 24, 2020

By Andrea Almoite

When she decided to return to school, Yvonka Weaver told herself that failure was not an option. She chose Tyler because she needed a place where she felt she had the support of the staff and instructors. Little did she know how much she would need that support.

Two weeks after enrolling at Tyler, Weaver learned she would need to have major brain surgery, which turned into nine surgeries over a three-year period. But she was determined to keep progressing at Tyler. “I remember very little of my first class, English 112, and I know there was a period where I lost my speech, but my dad kept bringing me to class when I was able to come, and my instructors made sure I stayed on track,” she said.

Though she was worried about returning to school as an adult, Weaver said she never felt out of place. “The students made me laugh and taught me new things; the faculty and administration bent over backwards to help me,” she said.

“I forged relationships with people through studying and learning that I never would have done prior to enrolling in college, and through those experiences, I learned to be a better communicator,” she said. “Tyler may have turned me into a human services worker without me even knowing it!”

After completing her associate’s degree in human services, pre-social work in May 2020, Weaver will continue her education at VCU in social work. She has also started her own finance education business and hopes to make that her primary focus in the coming years.

“If I could do Tyler all over again I would. I came in unprepared and left ready to take on anything,” she said.

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