Mother. Veteran. Student. Graduate. Teacher. Entrepreneur.
These are just a few of the words used to describe Faatima Miller these days. The 45-year-old mom of four graduated from Pierce College in June 2023 with not one but two degrees – an Associate in Military Technology and Leadership as well as an Associate in Arts – Direct Transfer Agreement degree.
Miller said she could not have accomplished so much at Pierce College without the support of student services and especially her advisor, Ron Burleson.
“Ron is my Pierce College advisor and my Pierce College father and my Pierce College therapist,” Miller said. “No matter what I needed, he was there for me. If I called him crying saying “this is too hard” he would say “what’s hard? Let’s figure this out together.””
Miller began her Pierce College career in 2018. At first, she pursued a degree in education in order to become a paraeducator. However, through discussions with her advisor, Ron, she decided to change her major to something she was more passionate about.
“I knew I wanted to learn as much about technology as possible, but I also started helping my husband with his business and decided to add a few business courses,” Miller said. “In the end, I wound up with two degrees!”
While at Pierce College, Miller also worked as a tutor and student mentor which she says is one of the best jobs she’s ever had.
“Being able to show other students their power and what they are capable of was the best part,” Miller said. “Helping other students achieve their goals and giving back everything I’ve learned – I couldn’t have asked for more than that.”
Just a few months post-grad, Miller is already furthering her education and pursuing her real-estate license all while homeschooling her youngest daughter. She said the feeling of finally graduating was “indescribable.”
“I’m so proud,” Miller said. “Plus, I am showing my children that it’s never too late to go back and educate yourself and achieve more.”