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Amy Ross

GateWay Student Proves It Is Never Too Late

‘It’s never too late to learn something new" should be Amy Ross’s motto. After a 30-year hiatus from taking courses [or attending school], she is back in the classroom. 

She took a slight detour at a young age, due to influential adults in her life, she explains. 

“I started using drugs with my parents when I was 12 years old. Then by age 15, I was using crack; that went on for 22 years. Today, I have been sober for 16 years and I really feel like my life is amazing,” she said.

As she should.

Currently, Amy, 50 and a mother of two, is working toward a degree in Counseling and Applied Psychology with hopes of transferring to Arizona State University. 

Re-entering school after 30 years away can present a host of challenges, but Amy is grateful for the opportunity. “GateWay has changed my life so much. The confidence I have today is because of the staff and my peers,” she said. 

And what about that life-changing experience?

“In 2019, I was able to participate in Runway to Success, a college fundraising event, and it was the first time I heard my story told by someone else,” Amy said. “It was amazing. It really helped show me I can get through anything.”

It’s not uncommon for many community college students to face adversity and set a high bar for their career ambitions – and Amy is no different. “I hope to one day open my own sober living home, and it would be a passion, not just a career,” she said. “I want to help other people.”