VGCC grad’s perseverance and belief in ‘no limits’ result in bachelor’s degree

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In 2011, Sonia Bishop of Franklinton decided to go back to school. “I wanted to start over at a community college,” Bishop recalled. She knew she had computer skills, but needed a degree in order to advance in her career, so she enrolled at nearby Vance-Granville Community College. “It gave me a new beginning in my academic life,” she said.

Bishop completed her first associate’s degree in computer technology at VGCC in 2015, boosting her confidence and allowing her to obtain a better job at Raleigh-based I.T. company, Anfield. Bishop’s advisor, instructor Donna Gill, saw her potential and asked Bishop, “Have you thought about going back to school and getting your Bachelor of Science degree?” But as Bishop recalled, “I told her that I was not ready. She provided names of good schools that have excellent Information Technology programs. At that time, I was not ready.”

Bishop was still interested in education, though. She went on to complete a second associate’s degree at VGCC, this time in the Information Technology – Networking and Security Track. She continued to excel, making the Dean’s List and earning scholarships. “Again, in spring 2017, Ms. Donna Gill asked me that same question,” Bishop said, but now, her answer was different.

“I told her that I was ready to take my academic life to the next level,” she said. “I researched and found that the University of North Carolina at Greensboro was a good fit for me. UNC-G had an exciting curriculum and online classes to fit my work and family life.” She enrolled at the university later in 2017.

“I took one class my first semester,” Bishop said. “Throughout that first semester, I was nervous, but I told myself that I could do it, and I didn’t want to disappoint myself again. I made good grades during my first semester, and I was confident.”

Then came her second semester, and Bishop made a “D” and a “C.” “I felt that I let myself down again,” Bishop said. In the summer of 2018, she was shopping in a department store, where she came across a framed picture with an inscription that read, “Believe there are No Limits but the Sky.”

“I purchased that picture and placed it in my study room,” Bishop said. “I read this statement daily, and it became a source of motivation for me. Before my second year started, I wrote down my goals for school. My only goal was to make all A’s and B’s going forward. I did just that and finished with a 3.17 grade point average (GPA) throughout my time at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.”

Bishop graduated from UNC-G on May 7, 2021, with a bachelor’s in Computer & Information Sciences, and now, she continues to look to the future. “I’m not finished yet, and I know my struggles have prepared me to face the challenges that lie ahead,” she said. “It is once again time for me to believe that there are no limits but the sky.”

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