Arkansas State University - Newport

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September 2019

#MyASUNstory: Autumn Poole

The process of seeking an education isn’t the same for everyone. Sometimes you aren’t always on the timeline others expect. Autumn Poole didn’t go down a traditional track to get her high school diploma, but it is that untraditional path that helps her serve others now at ASU-Newport.

“Everyone has personal reasons as to why things had to turn out the way they did in their lives, and one of mine just happens to be that my mom’s health kind of helped push us back a little bit, but it didn’t hold us there,” Poole said.

Her mother was in a car accident, several years later her parents divorced. It was through that time her mother’s health had to become a priority.

“The surgeries that she had to have helped her gain mobility again,” Poole said. “We were looking at being wheelchair-bound before she was 40.”

Poole made the difficult decision to put her high school educational goals on hold.

“My sister and I were able to take care of her until she was able to take care of herself a little bit better, and at that point is whenever she drove me every single day out here to the college to help me obtain my education,” Poole said.

She attended classes at ASU-Newport’s Adult Education Center where she obtained her GED. Poole then transitioned to taking college courses at ASUN. While completing her degree, Poole was offered a student work-study position in IT Services.

Poole experienced ASUN in a variety of ways from starting as an Adult Education student to now being a full-time employee for Adult Education.

“I am an administrative assistant for Adult Education,” Poole said. “I proctor students. I put data information in. I do intake forms for when someone comes in and has questions about the Adult Ed program.”

Through her life experiences, Poole feels like she can connect with students and what they are going through.

“I feel like I’m giving back to some of the students that are coming in there,” Poole said. “I kind of have a soft spot for it, and I want to make sure everyone that goes through succeeds and I enjoy being around those people because it’s kind of a flashback or hindsight is 20/20 of where I was at one time because you never know why someone is having to go through that, what their back history is, what got them to where they are today.”

Poole can remember when she had to put her education on hold and the stigma that may come with that, but she wants everyone to know you are just as worthy of success.

“What you do with your GED is no different than your high school diploma,” Poole said. “It does not limit you. It doesn’t label you.”

ASU-Newport remains a special place for Poole.  

“This college, this campus, is a great place to start, and it’s what gave me my start,” Poole said.

ASU-Newport has four Adult Education Centers located in Newport, Jonesboro, Trumann and Marked Tree.

For more information click here.