A Father’s Day story… Campbell uses children as motivation in sacrificial return to school

Published 2:33 pm Monday, June 12, 2023

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Going back to school to obtain a college degree is hard for anyone but that challenge is multiplied exponentially when you work a full-time job, be there for your children and spouse, and fulfill the roles that a man must do.
Despite the balancing act required to do this, it was a road that Brandon Campbell chose to navigate as the Elizabethton Electric employee who works as a Finance Tech elected to undertake as he recently graduated from Milligan University with a Bachelor of Science  degree in Business Administration after completing his Associates Degree in Political Science and History at Northeast State Community College.
“It was a difficult process,” Campbell said. “Anyone who has ever been in that situation will understand exactly what I mean. My wife will graduate from Tusculum at the end of the year, and my youngest daughter was born during this same stretch of time. Time management and prioritizing tasks was a major priority for our family. It was a balancing act trying to fulfill all of my work responsibilities, maintain my family life, and attend classes. Overall it was a very humbling experience. I am very fortunate and thankful to have been blessed with such a wonderful opportunity and I hope that I am able to make the most of it.”
Being tasked with being a full-time dad and husband was just one part of the challenge as Campbell also had to juggle the duties of his job as well. Campbell admitted that knowing that his co-workers had his back made a big difference in encouraging him to meet the task head on.
“Having the support of my co-workers was amazing,” said Campbell. “It was one of my co-workers who first suggested that I check out Milligan after I graduated from Northeast State Community College. They all expressed encouragement and interest throughout my journey. Their motivation and encouragement served as fuel to keep me driving forward. Everyone made me feel like I was really accomplishing something. I do believe that this positive encouragement helped me deal with the day to day pressure and challenges that I faced.”
Many reading this story may have had the thought that this course that Campbell chose to pursue had to entail much more sacrifice than that of just working a job and then go home to the family.
Campbell said he believes anything that is worthwhile requires sacrifice.
“Obtaining an education is no different,” Campbell said. “You have to be willing to sacrifice time more than anything. We would be trying to type research papers or do Economics homework from the waiting room of doctors offices or even once in the Hospital while my youngest daughter was having surgery. I was forced to miss my other daughters Tee ball game and at the time it was devastating. Coming home from work and picking up my books and heading straight to class required discipline.”
The Tennessee Reconnect program played a big role in aiding Campbell on his educational journey and added that he was blessed to have been able to participate in the program.
When asked if he would go back and attempt to complete the journey again. he said that he would definitely do it again.
“I have improved myself and had meaningful experiences along the way,” said Campbell. “I hope that my children follow the example that I have tried to set. They were my motivation and the main reason for returning to college. When I see my children sit down and pretend to play school or in the case of my son, actually sit and work on homework together with me,  it is such a rewarding feeling. Providing them with the best life possible is my duty.”
Campbell said he would encourage others to go for it if they are considering returning to school to improve themselves.
“I wasted so much time before I finally got started,” Campbell said. “From TN Reconnect to the Lottery Scholarship, financial aid opportunities exist. There are also numerous opportunities for non-traditional students to attend classes either online, or in many other non-traditional formats. For me taking the first step was the hardest part.”
Campbell isn’t finished yet either as he plans on returning to Milligan University to complete a Master’s Degree in Business.
“I hope that I am able to give back to my community is  some way. We are all so fortunate to live in such a wonderful area. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing family, wonderful coworkers, and to live in such a wonderful community,” Campbell said.

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