Gaining the Confidence to Pursue Your Dreams with a College Degree


Business major at Granite State College.
From a Personal Mission to a National Initiative: How Tami’s Degree Helped her  Make a Difference

When you meet Tami, you’re welcomed by a warm, confident woman who thrives off of encouraging people to meet their potential. Today, these qualities are core to Tami’s personality and internal values—you would never guess that these traits were built and nurtured as a result of overcoming personal barriers.

Throughout most of her adult life, Tami has battled with her weight. This struggle wasn’t a singular issue about a number on a scale; rather, it was a collection of unhealthy habits (both physical and emotional) that kept the weight on and prevented Tami from being her best self. At the age of 31 after becoming a mother of two, Tami made the decision to commit to a healthy lifestyle. Over a two-year period, Tami lost 50 pounds and was inspired to realize success throughout her life and by helping others.

Tami began this journey by exploring her college options. Granite State College was local to her hometown of Rochester and offered courses that fit her schedule as she balanced a full-time job and family, while maintaining a strong commitment to her health.

When getting my associate degree, I had to consider the progress I’d made with my health. I wasn’t willing to backtrack. I had to learn to multi-task at a higher level and continuously strategize to keep my priorities of family, school, and health in-line.

As part of this process, Tami started looking at her schedule more critically and found small pockets of time that she was spending on things that were keeping her busy but not productive. Once those areas were identified, it became easier to find small windows of opportunity that she could use in more efficient ways. It added precious hours back to her schedule that allowed her to continue to work out and be successful with her school assignments

Soon after finishing her associate degree in business, Tami became passionate about helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle.

After losing the weight and keeping it off, I was inspired to teach children that being fit is not about how you look, but about how you feel. And, help them make the connection between how simple lifestyle choices can determine how we feel physically and emotionally—things I wasn’t taught growing up.

Reaching these children became Tami’s personal mission and her organization, Fit on the Fly, was born! Through programs at schools and youth organizations, Tami delivered five simple steps that every child (and even adults) could learn and use to become healthier and feel great everyday. She began to approach school districts with this concept and her degree helped give her the confidence she needed to make a great first impression.

In order to have credibility with my stakeholders, which were educators, I needed my degree. It would’ve been much more difficult to get my foot in the door without it.

Tami continued to work with schools and find creative ways to grow her mission. She ramped up her marketing efforts, entered a small business competition to refine her strategy, and before long, Fit on the Fly captured the attention of Good Morning America, SUCCESS magazine, and the U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. She was able to leverage these relationships to acquire national sponsors from Lara Bar, The Vitamin Shoppe, Chobani, and Starbucks.

In 2015, Tami decided it was time to welcome the next phase of her career. She now works as an Executive Assistant at Eastern Propane & Oil, managing projects, schedules, budgets, and deadlines for the CEO and other C-level executives.

The switch from business owner to working in the private sector was a natural progression for me. It allows me to have the financial freedom to help my family, as well as use my gifts and talents to help others. My priority is working hard within an organization to provide as much value as I can.

Reentering the corporate world gave Tami several new opportunities, such as returning to Granite State for her bachelor’s degree using her employer’s generous tuition assistance program.

Today, both of Tami’s kids are in college and she is, too! Her B.S. in Business Management is on the horizon and eventually, she’d like to pursue a master’s degree.

I made the decision to go back to school at 36 to earn my associate degree and now I’m pursuing my bachelor’s as a 50-year-old woman. I feel like with my diverse background, the possibilities are endless—and exciting! If I can do it, anyone can do it!

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