Karen Bates

Even if you have to do it afraid, do it anyway, it will get easier.

Karen Bates is a divorced mother of three and a cancer survivor, and has just completed three semesters at Georgia Highlands Nursing program, where she is on the Dean’s list with a GPA of 3.77. This is an amazing accomplishment considering all she has had to overcome in her life. During her first week of college she was brutally raped, which lead her to drop out of school. She married her high school sweetheart, had three children and ultimately gave up on her dream of a college education. Her husband was not supportive when Karen expressed an interest to go back to school and became verbally, physically and sexually abusive toward her. The years of abuse began to take a toll on Karen, and at one point she attempted suicide. Once divorced, she enrolled in a 12-step program to not only get her life back on track, but to make the second half of her life better than the first half. She wrote a book, “The Tree in Me,” a self-assessment guide that has inspired her to live the dream of going back to school.

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