What do you do when your enlistment concludes and you find yourself balancing full-time employment while simultaneously raising your firstborn? In Brittney Maddaloni’s case, the answer might not be what you’d expect: go back to school and earn a college degree.
Now a proud American Military University (AMU) alumna, Maddaloni completed her AA in Management with a Human Resources concentration in February 2022—and her story is an inspiring example of the classic adage, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
But a college education wasn’t always on Maddaloni’s radar.
“Enrolling in School Was the Last Thing I Thought I Needed…”
Maddaloni’s passion for the human resources field began after she enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 2009.
“I wanted something that would really transition [to civilian life] easily, and so I got placed into an HR specialist role in the military,” Maddaloni explains.
After the end of her enlistment in 2017, Maddaloni went on to continue her HR career as a talent acquisition coordinator with Prisma Health Upstate, an employer whose partnership with Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions® provides tuition assistance education benefits to employees attending AMU.
During this same time, Maddaloni would learn she was about to become a mother. Yet, juggling work with parenthood never discouraged her from pursuing higher education—it only motivated her more.
“A large personal goal for me was to set the example for my son that…dreams/education can be achieved in any season of life. In fact, when I enrolled at AMU, I was in the middle of an almost two-year custody battle that was projected to cost me nearly $17,000 in legal fees…Enrolling in school was the last thing I thought I needed to add to my physical/mental plate. Especially while working full-time…But I didn’t let limiting beliefs or circumstances stop me from going for my goals, both personally and professionally,” Maddaloni reflects.
Perseverance, Online Classes, and Employer Tuition Assistance Helped Fuel Maddaloni’s Academic Success
Sharing custody of her young son, Maddaloni would use the time they were apart to focus on her studies, saying, “…I was sharing custody and I needed something [in] the time that I didn’t have my son, and I really poured into school. So, American Military University gave me a degree, but it also gave me … something positive to attach that free time to.”
A large personal goal for me was to set the example for my son that…dreams/education can be achieved in any season of life.
And while she makes it clear there’s no room for self-doubt when it comes to goal setting, Maddaloni admits AMU’s online learning environment played a large role in her decision to pursue her degree. “Don’t tell yourself you can’t do something, but there was no way I could have gone to in-person class,” she shares.
Maddaloni also credits her employer’s education assistance program for making it possible to avoid taking on unmanageable student debt. “They reimbursed a large portion of what didn’t get covered by the GI Bill®,” Maddaloni shares, adding, “…It just felt very well managed and very easy to apply and get straight into school.”
Her dreams didn’t stop there. Shortly after earning her degree, Maddaloni achieved another life-long goal when she was crowned Miss South Carolina for America Strong.
Advice to Single Mothers Contemplating Higher Education
Maddaloni empathizes with those who feel unsure of whether to advance their studies, saying, “Don’t limit yourself, because you’ve already gotten this far, and you’re already killing it as a parent—and as a single parent…honestly, it’s way more achievable than the initial pressure…that I had in my head, and I would just hope that other people would see that they can do it, too.”
About University Partnerships
American Military University (AMU) leads the way in workforce education. Our relevant programs are delivered online and are anchored by quality curriculum and flexible learning pathways that serve the individual needs of employees and the business needs of employers alike.
By partnering with our respected online University, we stand ready to optimize your education and training programs, solve for employee skills and proficiency gaps, increase engagement, and help you stay ahead of the competition by positioning your organization as an employer of choice.