When Shauna and David Fenty first got married and started having children, they had to put their education on pause. The timing wasn’t right and David said they needed to focus on working – but Shauna knew she wanted to go back someday. On May 6, the couple will walk across the stage together at Eastern’s graduation and receive diplomas. David will receive his associate in general business and Shauna, her bachelor’s in management.
Shauna was the first to enroll at ENC in 2012. According to her, she enrolled in ENC by mistake.
“My husband always knew of my desire to return to college and told me about a colleague of his who had recently enrolled in ENC and began taking evening courses,” she said. “I was very excited to hear that ENC offered evening courses, so I decided to contact the school to inquire about their evening program. Once I had already enrolled in ENC and was waiting to begin taking courses, David informed me that his colleague had actually enrolled in Emmanuel College and not ENC.”
Shauna said initially she was disappointed and feared she had enrolled in the wrong school, however she quickly changed her mind.
“I believe that God does not make mistakes so I knew He purposely sent me to ENC,” she said. “Enrolling in ENC turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Shauna received her associates degree in 2015 and completed her bachelor’s this past year. She will walk in May for that degree and has already begun pursuing her master’s, which she anticipates completing in 2019.
David initially didn’t return to school, but decided to jump in after seeing how much Shauna enjoyed it.
“I actually had the opportunity to move up [in my job] but I couldn’t without a degree at the time,” he said. “It was towards the end of her associates and she was enjoying it and I figured I needed to go back as well.”
Shauna said she has loved getting to attend school with David. They both keep busy between work, school, and family. However, with school only taking up one night a week, Shauna said they’ve managed it well.
“It has been a challenge balancing work, school, and home simultaneously. However, David and I work extremely well together in balancing all of our priorities and obligations,” she said.
David agreed. He said they made sure to schedule their classes on the same day, in order to manage time better.
“It actually worked out really well. The time worked out well because it was just 6-10 p.m. one day a week,” he said. “[The classes] do require a bit of work, but it’s definitely manageable. A lot of times I spend an hour or two after work and then I get the bulk of the work done on the weekend.”
Shauna and David’s son, David Jr., is considering attending ENC next year as well. He will graduate high school this year and has already been accepted.
“Initially, he didn’t know If he wanted to go to school with his parents, but when we told him he wouldn’t be in class with us he said OK,” David joked. “He’s had a chance to look at the campus and he really likes the area. He likes how good of a school it is and how great the professors are.”
David said he is grateful to have had the chance to learn again at ENC.
“My favorite part is just learning honestly,” he said. “It’s strange being an adult in my late thirties and I just really enjoy learning new things. Some things you’ve heard about before but being taught it and now being able to relate to it has helped me gain new knowledge.”
Shauna agreed and said she wants to encourage others who are considering going back to school to take that leap.
“I believe it is very important to invest in our personal and professional development,” she said. “This investment helps us become knowledgeable and well-rounded individuals.”