Meet a Recipient: Ronlisha Nichols

What are your children’s names and how old are they?
I have three boys- Khiry Nichols 23, Alonzo Releford III 19, Isaiah Releford 17, and one girl- Haitiana Releford 16.
Where are you attending school and what is your major?
I attend NWACC, and am pursuing my AAS in General Science.
What is something that has surprised you about parenthood?
One thing that surprised me is just how much joy being a mom brings.
What is one of your favorite parenting moments?
Potty training my boys with fruit loops as target practice.
Where do you like to hang out with your family in NWA?
We like to go to Fast Lanes and Tiny Tim’s Pizza Parlor in Fayetteville.
What is something you wish somebody had told you before having kids?
There is not a set manual. Every kid is wired differently.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I enjoy making shirts and watching movies.
What is your idea of a great weekend?
Spending a weekend at a cabin with my family, good food and music.
Where do you find inspiration?
I make sure to take “me” time to reflect on my day and the tasks to come.
What are some of your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenge would be time management- not being able to complete everything on my to-do list.
How did you hear about SPSFNWA?
Career Pathways at NWACC.
What is one word that sums you up?
What are some words that you live by?
“Never be a prisoner to your past. It was a lesson, not a life sentence.”
Why do you value education?
Education is a privilege; my ancestors paved the way so that I could have the right to an education.
What do your children want to be when they grow up?
My children all want to be different things- athletic trainer, criminal Investigator, entrepreneurs.
What do you enjoy most as a parent?
I love being able to watch my children grow into their own- just the joy of watching them prosper.
What made you decide to go back to school/ go to school for the first time?
I was challenged by my children and I was too afraid to try it. So, I talked to the enrollment support team at NWACC on a Friday and started school on Monday.
How did you choose your major?
I originally wanted to be a business major. However, the more I hung out in the science wing at NWACC I discovered that I really liked science. I quickly asked around to find out who the advisor was, and the rest is history.
How are you and your family adjusting to online classes?
 I have to say I do not enjoy online classes as much as I do on campus classes. I am struggling with my math class online.
How has being home during COVID-19 impacted you?
 It has given me a new perspective on the little things in life. I never thought I would see the day that the world would shut down or that we would be going through such a nasty pandemic. It is on my mind way more than I’m sure it should be– with the uncertainty of how all this will play out.
Other than financially, what impact has SPSF NWA made on your life?
It has given me a family of people who understand my struggles and that I can identify with. There are people who genuinely believe in you and your abilities to be a better person.
How will life be different for you and your family after you graduate?
It will help me get a better paying job and boost my confidence that I need to get back into the workforce.
What would you like to say to SPSF NWA supporters?
 I would like to say that you guys are heaven-sent. I prayed for a way to pay for school and there you were, ready to believe in me without even knowing me. I take this gift very seriously. You have altered a path in my life that I did not think was possible. Since being a part of this group, I have built the confidence to do so much more on and off campus. I joined the student ambassadors and government association at NWACC looking to see how I could pay it forward. I became the president and started looking for the needs of the students. This is my second chance to achieve my goals, and I am so grateful that you accepted me into the program to accomplish my goals. I thank you and my family thanks you!

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