Graduate Overcomes Past To Earn Degree At Ashland University

  • 2/12/2019 3:10:06 PM
  • Sartaj Singh
  • Local News

ASHLAND, OH - She was told to quit her journey to getting an education due to her troubled past. Now, Kristen Theriot has an Associates Degree from Ashland University. 

Kristen Theriot spent five years at Ascension Parish Prison after committing armed robbery. From her first day in the cell, she was reminded of where her decisions have taken her. 

"My turnaround was definitely sitting in that cell and the reality that may never go home again," Kristen stated. "I had literally given up on life... I was tired of that and wanted something different."

Kristen heard of a program where inmates could obtain their G.E.D while serving time, and this motivated her to reach out to supervisors and ask what she would need to do to get in such a program.

After writing letters to the warden to get into a G.E.D program, the Warden responded to Kristen on Christmas Day and gave her the best Christmas present: approval to pursue her new dream. 

After obtaining her G.E.D at Ascension Parish Prison and a diploma in Upholstery Technology and a National Construction Center Education and Research certification through Baton Rouge Community College, she then spent the next two years earning her Associate's Degree in General Studies through Ashland University after being offered to take online courses there.

"My entire five years of imprisonment consisted of education and struggles," Kristen said in a press release from Ashland University. "This moment for me is more than an opportunity to be recognized for my degree. This is the moment that breaks a cycle for the next generation. It's the day I display strength, perseverance, long-suffering and hope for my five children, my heart, my family, my friends, my supporters, those who encouraged and prayed event those who discouraged and never believed in me. They now have the chance to see a miracle, change, and growth. And they are able to witness me going fro cursed to blessed. This is the moment where Christ shows his strength in all my weaknesses."

Kristen now aims to earn her Bachelors Degree. 

"I'm just going to go with school, and trying to get a job, and basically do the basic needs of life," Kristen said. "Get a car, get a job, start saving money and work on building a future." 

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