ACHLS Student Profiles
Johanna Dume (Massachusetts)
"I found the American College of History and Legal Studies while at Northern Essex Community College in 2010. Being a Lawrence resident, wife, and mother of four with a fulltime job hasn't made it easy for me to find a school that could fit both my budget and my busy schedule.
I had put my education on hold because I was undecided about which school was both affordable and close to home, until I heard of ACHLS. I learned of the free tuition program which gave me the hope that I was missing, ridding me of the doubts about whether or not I would be able to afford completing my degree and if I could fit a program into my busy life.
As a student at ACHLS, I know now that my future is in a better place. As my journey continues I will expand my expertise and intelligence in the fields of history and legal studies, and this will enhance my experience at law school and my life."
"The first time I heard about ACHLS was at a transfer fair at Northern Essex Community College in 2010. At that time, I was still undecided on the path I should take because there was so much going on in my life. God was able to make a way for me through all the obstacles that I was facing. I am now married and a proud father of two kids, a boy (7) and a girl (5). I also have a full time nightshift job.
Being challenged in life is inevitable, but being defeated is optional, and I am so happy that ACHLS gives me the opportunity of a lifetime. I am very certain that this is my future, and I can't wait to be accepted by the Massachusetts School of Law"
"After putting my husband and two sons through college, it is finally my turn! I am 55 years old and have an established career in residential mortgage lending and regulatory compliance; however, I lack higher education credentials. In the winter of 2010, I began researching options for completing my bachelor's degree and obtaining a law degree. I kept running into roadblocks with local universities when much to my surprise I stumbled upon an article in the Union Leader newspaper that was introducing the American College of History and Legal Studies (ACHLS) partnership with Manchester Community College (MCC) to provide a pathway program to the Massachusetts School of Law (MSL). I decided to look further into it and enrolled immediately at MCC. After completing enough credits, I was accepted to ACHLS.
I am working hard to earn the respect of my professors and achieve good grades at ACHLS. Moreover, I am very excited about the prospect of attending the MSL. This has been a long journey and has been very hard work. Having to make tough decisions resulting in sacrificing family and friend time has been very difficult, but those around me have been supportive and after all, it will only take 48 months if all goes well! I feel reborn at 55, and have never had so much energy and enthusiasm about my future and my career."
My passion for American history and the law has no quantifiable comparison. For as long as I recall, I volunteered and remained as active as possible. Unfortunately, I had never attacked my educational goals quite as intensely. When my family mentioned ACHLS online to me in early 2012, I investigated it further. I discovered a demanding yet affordable program that could bring the dreams I had buried back to life.
Settling most recently in retail, I had surrendered my hopes and dreams to various "jobs". Though I knew that the challenges of my work schedule and life's obligations would require plenty of sacrifice, I knew after meeting with the ACHLS staff that I had found my calling. Despite the rigorous academic demands, ACHLS has a support system that will provide the skills requisite not only for me to earn acceptance into Massachusetts School of Law, but also to enjoy success and happiness in my legal "career".
I began my educational journey late in life. I was a single mother of a chronically ill child and survival was the goal. Then, after years of slowly taking classes I accidentally stumbled across an ad for ACHLS offering to help me finish my Bachelors Degree and start law school at the same time.
I transferred to ACHLS from Texas State University for a variety of personal reasons but the main attraction for me was that it was an educational institution that honored the individual as well as the material being taught. In a traditional 4-year college, it was frustrating to me that reciting facts back to the professor was more important than learning to formulate my own opinion from the material. My goal is to graduate from MSL and fulfill my dream of being a lawyer and I appreciate and respect ACHLS for its unique opportunity and guidance.