And all the Stars Aligned

I had been a Paramedic and in a middle-management role for several years and wanted to move up, but the requirements for promotion always seemed to be just out of reach.  They increased from an associate degree (which I had) to a bachelor’s, which I did not have. Despite continuing to take college classes here and there, it seemed I wouldn’t reach my goal in my timeline.  I couldn’t see the end.

During all this jumping around from one school to another, I also found that I needed more structure and face-to-face instruction to really grasp my education and where I wanted to go.  I began looking at schools that could help me reach my goals, and Bethel was right there. It was convenient, I didn’t need to miss work, and if class fell on a work night, I could schedule the time off in advance.  We met one evening a week in a small class setting, which really appealed to me. 

I always felt I had many opportunities in my life, like a sky full of stars, but after completing my degree it was as if the stars became much brighter and there were many more of them. The closest analogy I can think of is if you’re in the city and look up at the sky, only the brightest stars are visible.  But once the city lights fade away, you can see millions of stars — big ones, little ones, falling stars that fill the sky from horizon to horizon. Suddenly, I could see them all … and they all seemed within my reach.

I didn’t know that completing my degree would take me to where I am now — all I ever knew is that I wanted to be better, be more.  After graduation, I realized that my opportunities from my current position were limited, so I began to look beyond my current situation to reach my goals. Then, right in front of me, as if the stars aligned, I looked up and there was the opportunity I wanted. I could touch it, and I did.  I am humbled every time I think of the opportunities that the knowledge, the people, and the community of Bethel University opened for me.

Rita Peters

Bethel University Management & Organizational Leadership, Class of 2015

Graduate student, Vanderbilt School of Nursing

If you have a Bethel Success Story to share, or want to comment on a current story, please contact Cindy Chambers at We’d love to hear how your educational journey — or those of others — have impacted your life!