Painter thankful for education, encouragement
When Emily Painter receives her master of science in management degree during winter graduation exercises Dec. 14, she will look back on how God used her professors and the staff of Southern Wesleyan University’s Greenville education center during a difficult chapter of her life.
She wanted to continue her education but was unsure about where to enroll and about affording the tuition. Then Painter learned about Southern Wesleyan from a friend who received her master of education degree there. Painter enrolled in the MSM program in 2012.
Though she was working fulltime, Painter felt fortunate not to have to take out a student loan to pay for each six-week course, until her employer let her go from her job just one week after she started classes.
“I was worried that I was not going to be able to stay in school without an income,” Painter said. “I went to class that night and listened to my professor’s devotional. I knew The Lord was going to take care of me.”
Painter knew it would be difficult trying to find a job in an uncertain economy. The money she received from unemployment compensation covered tuition costs, allowing her to stay enrolled.
A couple of months later, Painter’s father complained of shortness of breath and was sent for a heart catheterization at Saint Francis hospital. The results showed that the main arteries to his heart were nearly completely blocked, and he underwent emergency quadruple bypass surgery three days later.
Painter never missed classes while her father was hospitalized. She would bring her laptop to the hospital and continue working on papers and studying for exams.
“As an only child, I was thankful that I was there to spend this time with my dad and help my mom take care of him – when they both needed me more than ever,” she said.
After her father recovered, Painter soon had a new job. She was beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel when she received a call from her father, struggling to tell her that, after her mother had a colonoscopy, the doctors found cancer. She found herself back at the hospital, being there for her mother while trying to keep up with assignments for her classes.
When Painter’s mother got home, she had an infection that sent her back to the hospital. When they started her treatments, she had numerous allergic reactions to her chemotherapy, keeping her in the hospital for weeks.
Although her mother continues to undergo chemotherapy, Painter is grateful for the prayers and encouragement she received from her professors at Southern Wesleyan.
“I believe that I attended SWU to become closer to my Lord and Savior so that he could get me through these times,” she said. “He has gotten me and my family through the past 18 months. I am so thankful to have received my education and degree from this institution.”
Painter is currently a marketing associate at CMT Inc, where she directs and designs marketing materials, does event planning, social media and maintains the company website.
With regional education centers conveniently located across South Carolina, as well as fully online programs for select degrees, Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, visit swu.edu.