After Hurricane Irma, Ka’Reema Moses had to choose whether to stay in her home of St. Thomas or move to Florida.
She chose Florida, and with it, finishing her bachelor’s in criminal justice at Florida Tech.
Living in Melbourne and earning her degree online ended up being the perfect fit for Moses.
“The most important factors in my decision to choose Florida Tech were the location and the curriculum. If you are an individual who is moving from an island to America and want to move somewhere that isn’t fast-paced, Melbourne is the place for you. The people in Melbourne are kind and you may never have a bad experience with anyone here. The curriculum was an important factor for me because, like most people, I wanted to get the most out of my education and I got that here at Florida Tech.”
Moses now plans on continuing her education with Florida Tech’s MSIT in Cybersecurity online.
We spoke with Moses about her background and academic journey.
Q. Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised on the beautiful island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. I am an only girl out of four children and was raised by a single mother. Before I started college, I was an average student who believed that average was all I could be. I’ve always been the kind of child that enjoyed laughing and partaking in extracurricular activities at school. In middle school, I was a part of the Burning Blazers Steel Band Orchestra and was given the chance to play for tourists and various events around the island. I changed schools more times than I can count and gained many friends on the island because of it. By my high school years, I discovered my ability to sing! I performed at many school events and even sang at the VI Idol competition.
During my high school years, I also joined the Virgin Islands Police Cadet Program. As a minor, this program opened my eyes to the reality of what it took to become a Virgin Islands police officer. After graduating from high school, I was accepted to the University of the Virgin Islands and started my journey towards obtaining a degree in criminal justice. Like I said before, I was an average student all my life, but I made a promise to myself to strive for higher heights. By my sophomore year at UVI, I was inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society.
I first heard about Florida Tech from my husband who was studying software engineering, while being a part of the ROTC program. When I visited the school, I was left in awe at how beautiful the campus was and what it had to offer its students. After Hurricane Irma, I was given the tough decision to stay in St. Thomas or move to Florida; I chose Florida. When I first came to Florida Tech, I learned the hard way that my good was not good enough. The professors pushed me to do more and work harder, and I saw the fruit of my labor when I received my first 4.0 GPA while in college.
Like many other students, my success came with obstacles. By my second year of college, I had lost two of my siblings to gun violence and faced many other trials in the real world. However, I persevered and conquered any situation that stood in my way.
Q. How will your Florida Tech degree make a difference in your career?
My Florida Tech degree will make a difference in my career because I’ve learned so many things while earning my degree. Attending college online gave me the chance to experience the college life while still having the time to work. Without this degree, I wouldn’t have known that I was capable of learning so much information in eight weeks.
Q. Do you have any future plans with your degree?
I plan on returning to Florida Tech online to receive an MSIT in Cybersecurity degree. My end goal is to work for the military or a federal agency. Since my husband is already in the military, I have access to the bases, and I want to be one of those people that get intel to our troops in foreign countries while protecting our country’s important data.
Q. What surprised you most about taking an online program?
What surprised me most about taking an online program was how much the professors care about your success. I’ve never had a professor where I felt like a bother. The professors here at Florida Tech want to see you succeed and give you the constructive criticism needed to do so.
Q. What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Serial Killers! I loved that class because I learned about serial killers that I didn’t even know existed. On top of learning all of that information, I was able to connect with the serial killer I was writing about because of how extensive your paper had to be. I also learned how many similarities and differences there are between known serial killers. You didn’t even feel like you were in a class. I was excited to do the work and even more excited to watch the videos for the course. The class was amazing because you saw how interested everyone was to learn as much as they could.
Q. What was your most valuable takeaway from the program?
My most valuable takeaway from the program is to give 110% to every assignment. Taking classes online taught me time management and enhanced my critical thinking skills.
Q. What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?
My advice to any other student would be to go for it! You never know what you can accomplish unless you try. Build a relationship with your instructors. You may have the same instructor for different courses. These instructors care about your success and they are willing to go that extra mile for you.
Q. Who has been your support system?
My support system has been my husband, my friends, my family and my student services representative. My husband stayed by my side through every trial I faced on this journey. He kept me motivated and reminded me why I was doing this. My friends and family constantly supported my dreams and believed in me even when I second guessed myself.
Before I came to Florida Tech, I enrolled myself into my own courses at my previous college and ended up messing with my projected graduation date. I was distraught and disappointed because I really wanted to graduate on time. My student services representative, Arielle Click, was amazing in everything she did for me. Before I even thought about registering for my next courses, she had already sent me an email or called me to discuss my next courses. She was extremely helpful along this journey and I don’t think I could’ve done it without her. She made this experience so much easier for me and she gained my trust because I knew she was there to help wherever she could.
Q. What was the most challenging part of your student journey?
The most challenging part of my student journey was the loss of my brother in my sophomore year. The loss took a toll on me and impacted my grades harshly. I started to question my reason for being in college. I couldn’t concentrate in my classes back in the Virgin Islands and convinced myself that it was time to drop out of school. However, when one voice told me to drop out, three other voices wouldn’t let me. I stayed in college and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Q. Who or what inspires you to succeed?
I inspired myself to succeed. Growing up as an average student who surrounded themselves with above average students made me see that there was more to my education that getting grades that were “good enough.” Seeing my husband’s success in his field has inspired me to take a similar career path.
Q. What is one fun fact about you?
When I was born, my uncle believed that he was meeting the wrong baby because I was laughing after only being born for a few hours.
Are you a graduate of Florida Tech’s 100% online degree programs? We would love to share your success story in our Student Spotlight series. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.