Student Spotlight — Meet MARY KAY HEMENWAY
of Houston, Texas
“Much like attending college and succeeding...
my dream was to swim with the manatees
on an unprotected swim, and I did.”
Mary Kay Hemenway intended to start college over 20 years ago. In fact, graduating from college was one of her dreams. A disturbing meeting with a guidance counselor derailed her plans to attend a college. However, Mary is determined to fulfill her dreams. She is currently pursuing a Paralegal Studies Associate Degree and has recently fulfilled another fantastic goal: she swam with manatees in Florida.
Like many high school seniors, Mary Kay Hemenway was excited when she was accepted at the college of her choice near her home in Houston, Texas. However, at a meeting to discuss her college plans, her high school guidance counselor convinced her that she was not “college material,” and that she should pursue other options. With her confidence shattered, she let go of her dream of earning a college degree. All that happened before she was diagnosed with ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). For years, Mary Kay wanted to get a degree and was willing to work hard but thought that a traditional college just wouldn’t work for her. Mary Kay was happy to discover an affordable alternative, “Penn Foster College is exactly the type of college I need to succeed.”
“What was once something I could not even begin
to believe I could do, I am
doing...I am bound and determined to finish.”
Mary Kay has been working for a title guaranty company doing paralegal work for over 12 years but does not yet have a degree. She is now well on her way to receiving an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies. After this, she plans to further her studies in specialized areas of the legal field.
Mary Kay attained another big goal recently. “Much like attending college and succeeding...my dream was to swim with the manatees on an unprotected swim, and I did.” She swam with manatees at Crystal River—outside of Tampa, Florida. An active member of the Save the Manatee Club for 10 years, Mary Kay even took her dedication one step further and adopted a manatee, “Brutus.” Proceeds of the club go to efforts to protect endangered manatees and their habitat.
Although Mary Kay struggles with complicated health issues, she states, “What was once something I could not even begin to believe I could do, I am doing...I am bound and determined to finish.” Penn Foster applauds her efforts. To all of our students, keep up the difficult but rewarding work of attaining goals and fulfilling dreams.