Pictured: Meghan Young, Beth Tiller, Natalie Bartholomew, & Tyler Clark
Our latest Alumni Update features our 2018 Distinguished Alumnus-Beth Tiller. Read on to see how life has changed for Beth since graduating from Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Tell us about your daughter.
Kayla is my only child and is about to start her Junior year at the University of Arkansas. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s in Public Health and is a beautiful, 20-year-old PHI MU. She loves the Lord, her friends, family, and the outdoors.
Tell us about your degree and current employment.
I am a proud graduate from NWACC, and in 2009 received my Associate degree in Nursing.
I currently work in marketing and admissions for the Maples at Har-Ber Meadows.
What is the most rewarding thing about having a degree?
I think one of the most rewarding things about getting my degree is that I have been able to use my talents in sales and nursing in my current position at the Maples at Har-Ber Meadows. I work in both marketing and admissions and both positions allow me to incorporate my love of interacting with patients and families as well as my passion for sales.
Who or what kept you motivated during your time as an SPSF NWA scholarship recipient? How did SPSF NWA contribute to that motivation?
While an SPSF NWA recipient, I had several people who influenced and encouraged me including my employer at the time, Ozark Orthopedic Clinic. Due to school, there were several times I was unable to work enough hours to keep my health benefits. As a result, my nurse manager, Diane Franklin, worked with me so that Kayla and I never went a single minute without health insurance.
Another source of motivation were my parents, Bob and Judy Watson. They worked just as hard at taking care of Kayla as I did at school. They helped us when ends didn’t meet, but also helped run Kayla to and from extracurricular activities. I, honestly, could never have finished my degree if I didn’t have their help and encouragement.
Lastly, the staff at SPSF NWA were more than encouraging! Joy, Jody, Anne, and Carrie (the team from 2006-2009) had special events like Naturals baseball games, the train ride, water park picnics, Golftoberfest and even the mini scholarship for Kayla’s school supplies! These extra events were meaningful to both Kayla and I, but my most memorable event was Kayla speaking at the Spark of Hope. She was terrified, and I couldn’t quit crying. She had the room cracking up when she told Citiscapes to stop putting me in their magazine because I was beginning to think I was famous.
Did your pursuit of a college education influence your children or other family members?
I was a late bloomer when it came to returning to school, but for Kayla, we have always encouraged her to get her degree. With a degree in Public Health, she’s still not sure what her future holds, but I can see her working with children. She’s enjoyed working with kids as a counselor at Camp War Eagle so much that she plans to return next summer.
What has changed most for you and your family, now that you are no longer in school?
Life has changed since graduating with my degree! I became financially independent, and Kayla and I even started taking family vacations. I didn’t have to say no to friends when they wanted to go out to eat, or no to Kayla when she wanted something new. When Kayla made the school dance team and they handed me the bill for over $1,000.00, I knew I would be able to pay it. Then I met my husband, Brian. We were introduced by a long-time friend and we had our first date in December of 2012 and married in 2014. He works for Tyson Foods and we love to travel, hunt, and spend time with family and friends.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment since completing your degree?
I’ve served as a SPSF NWA Board Member, donated to the organization, and have spoken on behalf of SPSF NWA to single moms and dads about returning to school.
At the Maples at Har-ber Meadows, I have met several single parents looking for help getting their CNA license—which our company will sponsor for them. I have also had the opportunity to encourage some of them to apply so they can have assistance with other expenses during their pursuit towards higher education.
What would you like to say to SPSF NWA donors/supporters? What about someone thinking of going back to school or a current recipient?
I want to say to donors, thank you! Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for believing in Kayla. Thank you for continuing to believe in so many single moms and dads that just want better lives and want to show their children what hard work and determination can get you!
To the moms and dads that don’t think they can get their degree, or don’t think they’re worth the scholarship—Apply! Come see our staff, make a phone call. I promise that the support and encouragement that you will receive from SPSF NWA is worth millions!