Kiana Davis

Central Carolina Technical College

"The professors here are like family to me. They are always looking for ways to help you get it done."

My name is Kiana Davis. I am 39, and the mother of two beautiful kids ages 18 and 16. I put my education on hold to provide for my family when I first had kids. When things didn’t go as planned, I ended up getting divorced and decided I wanted to go back to school to be able to provide for myself and my kids. My biggest motivation is making sure that I’m able to take care of my kids without the extra income from my ex-husband. Education means everything to me. I am studying logistics and one class away from receiving my diploma. 

 

How did you decide on Central Carolina? 

My best friend was a student here prior to me coming to Central Carolina. She really encouraged me to pursue my education. I didn’t think I had the time, but she kept asking me, “What do you have to lose?” 

I love that at Central Carolina you can easily talk to your teachers, especially if you’re struggling to balance caring for your family, going to work and school at the same time. It’s huge being able to communicate with your teachers and let them know what you have going on. They provide so much support and can point you in the right direction to get the help you need. 

The professors here are like family to me. They want to help students succeed. They are always looking for ways to help you get it done. 

I didn’t expect to enjoy going back to school. I didn’t expect to be on the President’s List and Dean’s List. I know sometimes people think they can’t do it, but they can. You just need the motivation, the encouragement and the right people behind you to push yourself to the next level.

 

What have you overcome on your journey? 

I got divorced from my ex and we moved out from under his family. For the first few months it was really hard because we went from having a home to living in a hotel or with family. I had to show my kids that regardless of what their situation is, you can get through it and make good things happen. There were times I cried and wondered, “Why me?” Now I’m able to look back at the hurdles and everything I went through to get here and I’m appreciative of that.

 

How did your family inspire you? 

Growing up in a large family, I saw how my mom struggled to provide for us. I didn’t want that for my kids, and I was willing to do anything in my means to care for them. The sacrifice, the late nights of studying — I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I would go back and do it all over again if I needed to. 

My daughter is 16 and a junior in high school maintaining a 3.4 GPA. She looks at me and knows that if I can do it, she can do it. My son wants to go into the military, and he’s in the process of taking his ASVAB. My kids are my motivation. 

 

What have you learned about yourself along the way? 

I was actually scared of my age, but I know people say that no matter how old you are, you can always go back to school and get an education. I’ve seen women and men well into their 50s and 60s getting their degrees. I was out of school for 17 years. It wasn’t my cup of tea to go back to school after all that time away, but I knew deep down that it was something that I needed to do to take care of my family.

The transition wasn’t always easy. I was used to my routine. Even though I was in school, I still had to balance things around work, make sure that the house was taken care of and the kids were doing their homework. There were no cell phones, no TVs, no games, no nothing. We all sat at the kitchen table and did our homework together. Being able to help my kids with their work was a learning process for me, too. 

 

What’s the most exciting part of achieving your goals? 

My mom watching me walk across that stage and get my Associate’s Degree, which I gave to her. It’s displayed in her house right now. 

 

What advice do you have for others on their journey? 

Don’t give up. Keep pressing no matter what.