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How a South African au pair became the first in her family to earn a college diploma

Written by Ashworth College on Tuesday, 02 October 2018. Posted in Success Stories

How a Diagnosis Led to a Dream Career

In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities — no matter the obstacles to be overcome.

Kamogelo Phahladira’s accomplishments are monumental, yet she speaks softly and modestly about them, her pride coming across only occasionally in the form of a self-conscious giggle. Not merely the first in her family to graduate with a college diploma, Kamogelo completed two Ashworth College programs in the space of 12 months. And this young South African woman from an economically disadvantaged family did it by overcoming obstacles others might never dream of.

A good opportunity, or too good to be true?

Kamogelo’s educational odyssey began in September 2017, when she arrived in the U.S. from South Africa as an au pair recruited by a cultural exchange organization that brings international students to the U.S. to provide nanny services to a host family while they study. The company promised Kamogelo “money for college” as part of her compensation package, but when she arrived in the U.S. she quickly discovered the $500 educational stipend offered by the company wouldn’t begin to cover tuition costs at any bricks-and-mortar university.

“I signed up with the cultural exchange program mainly for the potential to earn a college degree while I worked, but I realized there was no way I could afford to attend college on $500,”

Kamogelo explained, “so my father suggested I return home. But meanwhile I decided to look online for a college I might be able to afford, and I discovered Ashworth College.”

The path to an online college diploma – or two

Perhaps because of her too-good-to-be-true experience with the cultural exchange organization, Kamogelo at first took a skeptical view of Ashworth College. “I investigated them very thoroughly,” she said. “I read reviews and watched YouTube videos of their graduation ceremony to be sure they were a real college.”

Meanwhile, Kamogelo returned to her hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, and took a job as a nanny there. Convinced Ashworth College was the real deal, Kamogelo enrolled in the paralegal career diploma program. “I really enjoyed that program, especially working at my own pace,” Kamogelo said. “It allowed me to complete the degree very quickly.”

But why not just attend college in South Africa?

“The curriculums for programs like paralegal or forensic science are not very good in my country,” Kamogelo explained, “and education is very expensive here. For me, coming from a poor background, it would be hard to complete a degree in South Africa because it’s too expensive, but Ashworth College was very affordable and has been a stepping stone to greater things for me.”

Parlaying her education into a career

Indeed, Kamogelo’s success in completing the paralegal diploma so quickly – with honors, no less – led her to consider taking a second program: the forensic science career diploma. And this decision unwittingly launched Kamogelo into her dream career.

“My local newspaper wrote up a small article about my educational accomplishments, which must have been seen by the South African Police Services (SAPS). They contacted me to offer me a position in forensics, sort of like an internship,” she said. “I can’t tell you how exciting that was.”

Walking the commencement stage

Asked what motivated her to study hard and graduate with honors from two Ashworth College programs, Kamogelo credits her family and friends. “When my parents and some friends told me they were saving up money to travel to America to watch me walk the stage at graduation, I felt very motivated to do my best with my studies,” Kamogelo said.

Today, the sky’s the limit for this ambitious young woman, whose ultimate goal is to work in crime scene investigation. So what would she say to other prospective students who may face financial barriers or other obstacles to an education? “Don’t limit yourself” is her quick response. And that’s good advice for anyone who has not yet discovered the benefits of the affordable online education offered by Ashworth College.

Learn more about the wide variety of online college degrees, diplomas and career certificates offered by Ashworth College. Talk to an admissions advisor today!

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Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Our community is full of independent, motivated, growth-focused students. Dive into our blog to explore diverse stories from our students, friends, experts, and executives. From tips & tricks to student experiences and alumni stories, the Ashworth Blog is all about celebrating our community's accomplishments and passions.

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Online College Say ‘I Do’ to Your Dream Career as a Wedding Planner

You’re creative, detail-oriented, and have an eye for design. You know the best venues and your Pinterest board is colorful and full of inspiration. Above all, you love love, planning parties, and celebrating with family and friends. So, why not turn your talents and passions into a career? By becoming a wedding planner you can say “I do” to the job you’ve been searching for. Here’s how Ashworth can help you tie the knot with your dream career.

Make dreams come true

You’re looking for a career to have and to hold, one that encompasses all your skills and makes dreams come true. With a love for planning, parties, and romance it may seem like your talents are more suited as a hobby. However, that’s not the case! Your career match is out there. As a wedding planner, you’ll put your creativity and organizational skills to work as you plan the happily ever after couples are searching for.

You’ll be working with couples from the time of their engagement and beyond. Every step of the way, you’re there helping plan their fairytale wedding. As a wedding planner, you’ll act as a liaison between vendors and the bride and groom. In your Ashworth studies, you’ll complete courses to help prepare for your role such as:

  • Making Dreams Come True. In this course, you’ll learn the role of a bridal consultant, the basics of operating a bridal consulting business, and how to build your professional image.
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  • Starting Your Business. You’re new to the bridal consulting world. In this course, you’ll learn how to start your own business, how to manage your money, and the legal requirements you’ll need to get started.

Your career will be hard but rewarding work. You’ll witness the impact you’ve had as you watch the bride and groom celebrate their special day with loved ones and guests.

Tie the knot with a career you enjoy

As a wedding planner, you’ll be busy helping couple’s dreams become a reality, all while starting your own business and traveling and coordinating events. Your work will be unpredictable, but exciting! With an 11% expected job growth by 2026, now is the time to become a wedding planner.

When you enroll you’ll also receive a one-year membership to the Association of Bridal Consultants® (ABC). With the membership, you’ll have access to workshops, conferences, and networking opportunities.

Walk down the aisle towards your happily ever after with a career as a wedding planner. Take the first steps towards making nuptial dreams come true by calling an Admissions Advisor at 1-888-230-4013.

Many clothes hanging on a rack in a closet.

Life Hacks Trust Us, People Care What You Wear to Work

You’ve probably heard the saying, “look good, feel good.” It’s true, especially when you’re saddling up for a new career adventure. Looking good means you feel better about yourself and you stand a little taller. You want to feel confident going into an interview and then at work once you land a job!

Then, you start the job and for a few weeks you dress your best, alternating between your nicest tops, polos, and pants. But before you know it, you’re comfortable and your job isn’t so new. You fall back into old habits and start wearing your comfiest yoga pants and hoodies. You may feel relaxed, but your outfit tells your boss and coworkers that you have low drive and opportunities in the workplace may pass you by. Don’t make this mistake! Here’s why you should put some pep in your step with your style choices at work.

Look good, feel good, do good.

You may not realize that what you wear and your job performance go hand in hand, but think about it: When you feel good about yourself you project good out into the world, and ultimately, your work space. If you’re confident about the way you look then you’ll be more confident in yourself and the work you do. According to an article published by NPR, a study found that wearing formal clothing makes employees think more like a leader.

But what if your workplace is more laid back? Maybe you don’t need to wear a suit to the office every day. That’s fine, too. Just make sure what you’re wearing is neat, fits well, and is stain free. Don’t wear anything with holes in it, make sure your hair is done, and you look presentable. Also remember, a positive attitude can go a long way! Looking like a professional – and acting like one – is the first step towards success.

Dress for the job you want.

Has anyone ever told you “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? Remember this saying as you get ready for work. If you look like you don’t care then your bosses, coworkers, and customers are going to assume you don’t care, too.

You should treat every day like it’s an interview, a Forbes article advises. Since you’re more than likely being evaluated by your peers at any given time, it’s important to dress your best to show you’re serious about your role.

If you work somewhere where you’re required to wear a uniform, it’s probably easier for you, right? Wrong. If you work in retail or the service industry, it’s equally important to put effort into what you look like. While you may have to wear a uniform, you should make sure that it’s stain and wrinkle free without any frays or tears. Make sure you’re well-groomed and any non-uniform parts of your outfit are crisp and professional.

People care what you wear.

Trust us, your coworkers, bosses, and even customers care what you wear. Whether you like it or not what you wear on the outside has a lot to say about the person or worker you are. Putting some effort into what you wear can go a long way. You may not get a promotion right away for wearing a blazer to work every day, but you will build your self-esteem and be more comfortable with yourself. This is equally as important as career growth.

Even if no one says this to you, your managers are evaluating your appearance each day. Dressing in a way that impresses them, or even better, impresses their superiors, means a lot. Each day is an opportunity to put your best foot forward and put a little extra time into you. When you show yourself some love, it shows. Not sure where to begin putting yourself together? All skills can be learned. Check out our Personal Style Career Program to learn more about how to package yourself like the gift you are.

Believing in yourself and being comfortable with who you are and in what you wear is the key to furthering your career journey. Take the time to make sure your clothing choices reflect that you’re hardworking and ready for opportunities that lie ahead.

Students writing on paper with a pencil next to a laptop.

Why Ashworth HELP! Ashworth Resources to the Rescue

Being an online learner means you’re independent, but it doesn’t mean you’re alone. Ashworth has various resources to help you stay on course throughout your educational journey. From phone support and tutoring to career guidance, Ashworth has your back every step of the way.

Getting started with Ashworth

You’re ready to start your adventure toward earning your degree. You want an affordable education and the ability to study when and where you want. Let Ashworth be your guide! Start by contacting our Admissions team. Representatives are available to answer your questions about Ashworth programs and can help you enroll today by calling .

If you’re veteran, spouse or service member contact the Military Services department at 1-877-758-7630 to learn more about programs and benefits you may qualify for.

Academic support and tutoring to help you

You’re working through your course material and you get stuck. What do you do? Thankfully, Ashworth’s Education Department has a dynamic team of Academic Advisors and teachers who are ready to help you find solutions to your problems. Academic Advisors offer support relating to your course and tutoring assistance, which is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM EDT. To receive tutoring assistance call or submit a ticket via the Support tab on your Student Portal.

Additionally, teachers are available to assist with course-related material through email. You can find contact information for your academic support team in your program or course syllabus.

If you’re in need of account servicing or Student Portal help, our Student Services representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 9:00 PM EDT and Saturday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EDT. They’re ready to help you. Call to get assistance.

Resources to help you succeed

While your instructors are more than happy to help you, sometimes doing some research on your own can go a long way. That’s why Ashworth created a Learning Resource Center. This center is your online Library, Writing Lab, and Guidance Center.

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  • Writing Lab. The Writing Lab is here to help you be an overall better writer. The center includes citation guidelines, useful writing style guides, and information on plagiarism.
  • Guidance Center. The Guidance Center offers non-academic resources to students. Here, students can find information on career planning, financial aid and personal finance, test preparation, and learning styles and study skills. The center also offers resources on bullying, sexual assault and harassment, health, wellness and safety, and Title IX Notice of Non-Discrimination.

Start connecting with classmates

While it may feel like you’re alone as an online learner, there are thousand of Ashworth students just like you. You can start networking and making friends on the Student Community. On the Community, you can find motivation, share study tips, connect with classmates, and join in discussions, and more. You can also find classmates in your program and help each other stay on track.

From admission to graduation and beyond

Ashworth wants to see you succeed. That’s why it’s easier than ever for you to have the tools you need for your job hunt and to grow your career. Ashworth EDGE is available to you as soon as you enroll. This online career services toolkit helps you translate your lessons into the career skills that can help you in the future. The toolkit includes a resume builder, mock job applications, an ePortfolio, cover letter tutorials, thank you letter help, and help to create a business plan. You’ll have access to Ashworth EDGE even after you graduate.

Take advantage of the resources available

With countless resources available at your fingertips you can make a positive impact on your education. Asking for help when you need it is one of the most important things you can do as an online learner. Recognize that you’re not alone and there are tools to help you succeed. Wherever you’re at on your academic quest, Ashworth is here to help.

 
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