Going through a difficult divorce and battling two types of cancer, 48-year-old Ellen Moulter of Stewart County hasn't let obstacles prevent her from earning a college degree.
She is among the several hundred Columbus Technical College graduates and GED recipients scheduled to walk across the stage in the Columbus Civic Center tonight at 7:30. Rodney Maupin, director of the Ordnance Training Department at Fort Benning, will be the commencement ceremony's featured speaker.
Moulter used a state HOPE grant to cover tuition for her diploma and a federal Pell grant toward her associate's degree in accounting. She took classes online and in the traditional classroom setting and completed her coursework with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.
"I loved my teachers," she said in a news release. "I remember being sick during my midterm, and I just physically couldn't finish the exam. My teacher let me take it over. That may not sound like a big deal, but it was huge to me."
Moulter received hands-on accounting experience by helping people file their income taxes through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). She did so well, she became a work-study student with the organization, logging 20 hours per week.
While her 21-year-old son was in college at the same time, they enjoyed competing against each other for the best grades - and they finished in a tie. He earned an associate's degree from Andrew College with a 4.0 GPA.
The pursuit of higher education and friendly family academic competition will continue at Columbus State University, where Moulter and her son will carpool and be students together, starting this fall semester.