INSPIRED SUCCESS: Alice Ford '23 CPS juggles the night shift, Dean's list, and helping her community
For many of the adult students in Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS), it can feel like adding schoolwork to life’s many other commitments will fill all 24 hours in the day.
For Alice Ford, who is set to graduate from CPS this May, at times that has been the case.
Alice works full time at The Inn at Villanova, working overnight throughout the week as a Night Auditor. She also owns her own business, volunteers her time to help educate teenagers in the city of Philadelphia, and is active in her church community.
She accomplishes all of those things while also being a mother to two adult daughters and completing her degree.
Alice credits the passion sparked by all of her interests as the driving force behind her diverse array of responsibilities and accomplishments.
“If you’re committed and you love what you’re doing, it’s not that hard,” she told us. “The energy just comes. When I go to class, you’d never know I hadn’t slept.”
Before starting at CPS, Alice had tried returning to school several times, yet never had the time or opportunity to amass the credits for her degree. When she began working at the Inn at Villanova, Alice saw a chance to invest in her education, but had her doubts..
“When I first signed up, there was a lot of fear that kicked in. Once I started the journey, being able to interact with adults like myself, who shared my concerns, it made me more comfortable.”
That comfort quickly set in, with Alice not only staying on track to graduate, but earning Dean’s List honors. She credits her advisors and the resources available to adults students in CPS for guiding her in the process.
“Villanova stood behind me 100 percent and held my hand whenever I had that fear, there was always someone I can turn to.”
Her own success in the classroom inspired her to help others find their path to higher education.
“(Going back to school) stimulated something in me,” she explained. “I found time to balance my classes with working overnight and my commitment to assisting the city of Philadelphia.”
Alice is taking part in a Community Resource internship, which has led her to speaking directly to young students through the Philadelphia School District, implementing Career Day events and highlighting the value of education.
“Philadelphia’s youth have had so many challenges. There aren’t enough activities for them to remain engaged,” she said. “In these communities where there is often a lack of resources, I can be that resource.”
Somehow on top of her volunteer work, full-time job, and courses in CPS, Alice is also an entrepreneur. She spent many years as a hair stylist, though she stepped away from that profession when her career led to Villanova. Motivated to remain active in the beauty and hair care industry, Alice developed her own line of beauty products, the A .Ford brand.
“School has allowed me to balance that opportunity, with my work and home life.”
Her home life includes being the mother to two daughters, Jalyssa and Janae.
“They are so excited for me and can’t wait for that day where I walk down the aisle (to accept my degree),” Alice relayed. “My family has been very supportive. Whatever I needed, they were there for me.”
When she does walk to receive her degree, Alice doesn’t imagine that as the end of her education. She’s considered additional pathways beyond her bachelor’s degree, including several of the graduate programs at Villanova.
“I am considering continuing my education,” she said. “I never want to leave Villanova!”
Alice’s success throughout her educational journey is inspiring and she hopes her story can speak to those who share her doubts and fears about pursuing their degree as an adult.
“My success has motivated me to give back to others,” Alice stated. “If I accomplished this, the only thing holding you back is yourself. You can accomplish this same goal if you just take the first step.”
If you're ready to earn your degree, Villanova University's College of Professional Studies offers the resources you need to go back to school.