Great Grad 2017: Amanda O’Boyle

Amanda O’Boyle, 32, originally never wanted to go to college. “I had gone to a vocational high school and already had a really good job that turned into my career. Then after visiting LCCC campus while a senior in high school it hit me that I wanted to go to college after all,” she said. Ultimately her goal was to be the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college. This May she will be achieving that dream as she earns her associate of arts degree from Lorain County Community College.

The North Olmsted resident worked full time while going to school and after many years of changing majors, taking classes full-time, then taking classes part-time, taking a class or two a semester and several breaks with no classes at all, she became determined to finish. “I had my son in 2015 and he motivated me more than ever to prove not only to him, but to myself that I could do this,” O’Boyle said. “While finishing my remaining credits I reminded myself I was doing this to show him no matter how much time or what was going on in life, if you focus and want something bad enough you can make anything happen.”

“When final grades were posted and reality set in that I was finally graduating I broke down into tears with the biggest smile on my face,” O’Boyle said. “I had convinced myself I needed to graduate for my son but in that moment I knew I needed to graduate for myself more than anyone else. I will be forever grateful he gave me that extra push to show myself that I had it in me the whole time.” The process took her longer than expected, but on May 13 her husband, son and her parents will be watching from the audience.

She thanks some of the LCCC staff who helped her along the way. “Recently, my counselor Jason Gibson helped me figure out my grades and credits and what degree I could put all of my hard work, time, and money I’ve spent over the years towards,” O’Boyle said. “He pushed me to keep going when I wanted to give up and now here I am graduating.”