After 15-year hiatus, Andrea Montes returned to school.
"But that was the time when I didn't know how to write an essay. My teachers would talk and they gave lectures and I was lost. My teacher would talk about anatomy and I'd have no idea what was going on. What is this? Are they speaking to me in a different language?"
To work through that, Andrea became a regular at a Dallas College writing center. So much so that her picture is on hanging on one of the center's walls.
In the spring of 2016, she graduated with her associate degree. It was a milestone for both Andrea and her three children.
"I remember when I got my letter saying congratulations, you're going to be able to graduate. I opened it and I started reading it and I remember I was in my living room. My kids were with me and my voice just started cracking. I couldn't believe it. It was really happening. Really happening."
She then got accepted into the nursing program and finished it in 2018.
"You don't understand how broken I was when I started school. I didn't just graduate. I graduated and I earned so much confidence and friends and I cannot even put it into words."
Andrea Montes earned her associate degree in 2016. In 2018, she completed a Dallas College nursing program.