Featured Adult Learner: Samantha Niklas-Robey

Samantha is a mother, day care worker and full-time student at NIU. She finds it easy to commute and likes the close proximity to her home. Samantha is majoring in health and human science with a focus in child development with emphasis in infant and family studies. Her job as a day care employee led her to finish her degree with the plan of becoming a developmental therapist. The day care she works for specializes with children with special needs and has a therapy unit. Currently, Samantha is a junior.

Samantha has experience being both a traditional student as well as a non-traditional students so her perspective is unique. She says as a traditional student she didn’t take classes as seriously and now that she is working, a mother and taking on a full class load, she is much more serious about her degree, especially because of her ability to be a developmental therapist upon graduation. Fitting in is challenging due to being older, but she finds it easier to communicate with professors because of her respect and understanding of college.

Her hobbies include being a mom and spending time with family. She is very involved in Breast Cancer Awareness. October is breast cancer awareness month and every year her work seeks donations to create cancer treatment bags for cancer patients in Ottawa. The bags are similar to care packages that help people undergoing chemotherapy. Last year, they made and delivered more than 100 bags. She also helps run fire safety week at her work. Some of her favorite TV shows include Desperate Housewives and Quantico.

Samantha’s favorite experience at NIU so far has been meeting up with her family relations course professor. She felt heard and understood as she met to talk about a lower grade. The grade was fixed and they ended up talking about her experience as a post-traditional student and possible graduate degrees.

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