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Abbie Lattergrass gets encouragement from the usual suspects

Finding the right balance and staying on track is a challenge for many students. For Abbie Lattergrass, recent MSU graduate and single mother of four, succeeding despite the odds took encouragement and inspiration from her professors. She also found it essential to be involved in campus activities, such as the Native American Center.

"With four small children at home, it was important to me to find a school that was family oriented. I had thought about going to a bigger school, but MSU is a good school," Lattergrass said.

Lattergrass wasn't sure she'd be able to maintain a full-time class schedule, but after achieving academic status on the President's list, she was inspired to continue her education.

That's not to say it was all smooth sailing.

"It was hard, trying to balance family and school all by myself, as a single mother it was just too much. So I had to take a break," Lattergrass explained. "I went back to work, and the jobs I found were really dissatisfying. Especially after going to school, knowing you can be more and do more. So, I returned to school and finished my associate degree. With that achievement, I found myself questioning why I ever took a break."

After completing her associate degree, Lattergrass was eager to continue towards a bachelor's degree and found that she only needed one more year at MSU. With the reassurance of faculty and family, she returned to MSU in fall 2012 and got involved in the Native American Cultural Awareness Club, eventually serving as club president.

"This was an amazing experience for me. The Native American Center has become a home away from home," she said. "I found the center inspirational because of what it offers incoming students. The center is there to assist students."

Lattergrass graduated in May with her Bachelor of General Studies with certificates in computer programming, networking and web development.