Young Mother Graduates as Valedictorian

Posted: May 12, 2018 | Author: Miles Anderson | Read Time: 2 minutes

Thor in cap and gownA long and proud legacy of Southern Utah University alumni including both parents, three sisters, and several extended family members brought Angela Castagno from Kanab to Cedar City, Utah. Following in her family's footsteps simply felt right.

Castagno began her education just after her first child was born in 2004. Being a young mother made it difficult to get involved in extracurricular organizations or activities as her primary focus was taking care of her family while staying on top of her classes.

After taking ten years off to raise a family of four kids, Castagno took advantage of SUU’s online programs to finally finish her bachelor's degree in general studies.

When asked how she managed to become the valedictorian for the Graduate and Online School Castagno replied, “I applied myself to every class. I didn't just go through the motions. I made commitments, kept them, and managed my time. You can get something out of your education, or you can just pay for it. It's up to you!”

“Angie has been a top quality student in my class,” said Karl Stevens, director of SUU Online. “She has achieved a level of mastery in her understanding of research concepts and writing style that far exceeds the undergraduate level. She is fully prepared to meet master’s level expectations.”

A finalist for the Scholar of the Year award, Castagno will be graduating Summa Cum Laude, the highest distinction recognized at SUU.

Castagno plans to apply for the Alternate Route to Licensure program through the Utah State Board of Education and become an elementary school teacher. She encourages other potential non-traditional students to take advantage of the time they have to earn an education.

“My advice is that it's never too late,” said Castagno. “I came back to school after taking 10 years off to raise a family. Even if you have to take a different path than the one you originally chose, you can get there! Time is going to happen, it doesn't wait, so you may as well manage it instead of letting it pass you by.”

Learn more about the Graduate and Online School.

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