Becoming Successful Without Sacrifice: Sarah Slone’s Story with ANU

Between working, raising three children, a husband to be with, and attending American National University, Sarah Slone has a lot on her plate. She represents the students that often join our classes in their adulthood: looking to earn their education, but without having to give up the life they’ve established. And though Sarah joined ANU while having so many responsibilities outside of her studies, she has only flourished – she continued to do well in classes even through the birth of one of her children this past fall. Because of her hard work and vigor for her studies, Sarah is named the first ever Health Sciences Student of the Term, nominated by her instructor, Abby Chelstowski.

ANU’s Student of the Term are students that not only show exemplary work in their classes but are also faithful in their attendance to classes and have shown tremendous progress in their studies. Abby Chelstowski had this to say about Sarah: “I wholeheartedly recommend Sarah Slone for ‘Student of the Term’. I had the pleasure of having Sarah in my MED273 and MED273C courses for term 227. Sarah had an excellent attitude and always kept up with her work. She never missed a beat, EVEN when she was in the hospital after giving birth to her son. She is also my ONLY student here at ANU that was able to draw blood on the practice arm without [any] assistance on her FIRST try! I cannot say enough wonderful things about her.” At ANU, our professors are deeply invested in the success of their students, and Abby Chelstowski is more than committed to seeing Sarah earn her degree.

Before attending ANU, Sarah was initially interested in going into cosmetology. However, in high school, she spent time with her grandma in the hospital, and observed the nurses in what they did and how they cared for her grandmother. She became a CNA in high school and currently works in a nursing home – she aspires to become a labor and delivery nurse but is currently enrolled in our Medical Assisting program as our 100% online program was easily adaptable to her schedule. She enrolled after researching college healthcare programs and ANU was at the first listed. “I thought [online class] would work with my work schedule really well – and it did,” Sarah said about joining ANU, “Also the tuition price – I was really attracted to that because it was the cheapest that I had found.”

As she works in a nursing home, aiding nurses in their treatment of the residents, Sarah says her education at ANU has taught her many new things. “[My classes] have helped me better my work ethic.” Not only that, but her classes have helped her prepare for the workforce in medical assisting she will enter once she graduates. “I was nervous about the phlebotomy part, I thought ‘how am I going to do that when I’m not in clinicals?’ but the arm, the hands-on, the EKG… It’s helped me a lot, I do feel more prepared for when I do go into the work force.” Sarah is a hands-on kind of learner, so the lab-kit materials that she received, included in her tuition, allowed her to put her new skills and knowledge to practice.

When it comes to her classes, Sarah knows she can receive help from her instructors anytime she needs it – she constantly feels supported by those who are teaching her these skills. “Anytime I had a question about coursework, they would reply immediately. I never have to go wondering ‘is this going to be right?’ or ‘am I turning this in on time?’” When she delivered her child earlier this year, she said all of her instructors were there for her, “they were all very supportive, and they haven’t left me behind on anything.” In her time at ANU, she says she usually doesn’t have questions by the end of her weekly Zoom sessions – between her classes, online resources, and access to her professors, everything she needed to succeed was right in front of her. She is attending ANU’s 100% online Medical Assisting program, but she isn’t sacrificing the quality she would receive in an in-person classroom.

When asked if she would recommend ANU to others, she answered, without hesitation, “absolutely, I really would!” And for those students who are just getting started at ANU, she gives this advice: “stay focused… find things to motivate you to keep going. Just focus on your studies because you’ll get where you wanna be.”

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