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High school dropout overcomes challenges, now excels in college

Mohave Wire

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LAKE HAVASU – Sunshine Boylan’s path to becoming a member of the 2019 All-Arizona Academic Team, as well as an honors society member, student council officer and university scholarship recipient has not been easy.

At age 15, family financial struggles forced Boylan to drop out of high school in California and get a job.

Over the years she became a single mother of four, and dreamed about becoming a registered nurse.  The lack of a high school diploma and college degree limited her options, but when she met her fiancé she said an opportunity opened up that gave her time to further her education.

She obtained her General Education Diploma in California, and then moved to Lake Havasu City where she enrolled at Mohave Community College to become a registered nursing student. 

“I’ve done other careers, I’ve waitressed and it didn’t fill that void for me, and I feel like taking care of people is not just a job for me, it really is a passion,” Boylan said.

Mohave Community College Registered Nursing Student Sunshine Boylan went from being a high school dropout to a college honors society scholarship recipient.

That passion also extended to academics, and has helped her become one of the top students at the college.  This year she was chosen by the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society as a member of the 2019 All-Arizona Academic team, which comes with a full scholarship to any Arizona university.

“Winning that scholarship was an amazing honor for me because I was a high school dropout,” she said. “And the standard most people think of, is the straight A student, not a high school dropout. But the hard work it takes to get there definitely pays off.”

Boylan remains modest when it comes to her accomplishments and overcoming obstacles in life.  “I really think if I can do it, anyone can do it,” she said.   After she graduates from MCC, she will attend Northern Arizona University in the Fall of 2020.

Currently, she is actively involved with Phi Theta Kappa community projects, and is also the Student Nursing Association President.  She was the Student Body President at the Havasu Campus for two years, and said that her involvement with these college organizations has taught her leadership and management skills.  She said that the roles she has carried will also look good on a resume for her future endeavors. In five years, she sees herself “being a fantastic nurse.”

As for advice she would give other students, “never give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help because the college has a lot of help available, and if you don’t ask for it then you only have yourself to blame.”

Mohave Community College is currently enrolling students for the spring semester, which begins on January 21.  To get started, you can apply for free at www.Mohave.edu, or call 1-866-MOHAVECC for assistance.