BC-Aaron Mills

BC student fulfills promise of earning college degree

BC student fulfills promise of earning college degree

Thu Jun 25, 2020

Aaron Mills

Aaron Mills had plenty of reasons to return to college.

By earning a college degree he would be an example to his family and friends on what can be accomplished with hard work. Even more importantly, a college degree would open doors for career advancement.

Aaron admits these are good reasons and acknowledges they played a role in him returning to college after a 10-year hiatus. But for him, it was an even more personal reason.

“The most important thing was that I promised my grandmother while she was still here on earth that I would make sure to get that done,” he said.

“She always told me, ‘Why’d you leave school? You should have stayed and gotten your degree. You should go back because it’s important,’” he added. “She passed away in 2016. It was a sad time in my life, but I figured I could dedicate this for her.”

It didn’t take long before he started putting the wheels into motion. Eight months after his grandmother’s death, Aaron enrolled in summer classes at Brazosport College. Since then, he’s taken around eight hours a semester for the past three years — in addition to working a full-time job.

This past semester, he accomplished his goal by earning an associate degree in process safety. It wasn’t easy, as the COVID-19 Coronavirus moved his classes to an online format, but Aaron realized that earning an education was just as possible online as it was in an actual classroom.  

“I set a goal and, despite the issues that came up, I was able to do it, and I graduated with honors,” Aaron said. “My mom, my dad, my stepmom, my girlfriend, they’re all telling their friends and family how well I’m doing and it makes me proud. This wasn’t handed to me. I had to work for it. I want this to be an example to my kids that they need to go out, work hard and get it done.

“The resources are all still there,” he added about online learning at Brazosport College. “The math and writing centers are still there, financial aid is still there, everything is still there for you. Some of it might be online right now, but the College is there for you.”

With registration ongoing for the Fall semester — and with some of Brazosport College’s classes scheduled to be partially or fully online — Aaron has words of encouragement to potential students considering registering for online classes.

“There is an adjustment you have to make, but I gained a lot of knowledge from it,” he said. “Students shouldn’t shy away from school because some classes are online. In fact, I’m taking one more class this summer, and it’s online.”

Just as important to Aaron, however, he also wants to send a message to anyone thinking about returning to school after being away for a long period of time.

“It’s sometimes a stigma for people in their late 20’s, 30’s, even 40’s and older, that it’s too late for college and a career change,” he said. “It’s never too late. It’s important to come back and give it that effort. I reassure people all the time that the BC staff will be there every step of the way and will not let you fail as long as you put in the effort.

Registration is ongoing for Brazosport College’s Fall semester. For more information, visit www.brazosport.edu/choose or call the college’s main switchboard at (979) 230-3000.