Margaret Hall changed her life after serving time in federal prison. In just five years she has earned three college degrees, including a master’s degree.
On Thursday, the 47-year-old mother of six from Arizona State University walked the stage in Desert Financial Arena, a summa cum laude graduate with a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and prelaw, according to 11Alive.
Hall was convicted of a class C felony and was sentenced to six months in prison nearly six years ago. After serving her sentence, she decided to shed some old parts of her and create a better life for herself and her children by going back to school.
“Strive for bigger dreams and bigger goals. I didn’t want my children to think that was going to be the last chapter of my story,” she told 11Alive.
It was tough from the beginning as she had to deal with the stigma of being a convicted felon. Hall also doubted herself at some point but she made it eventually. She enrolled at Glendale Community College and then transferred to Arizona State University. Hall would earn three degrees in five years.
“Every semester for the past five years. No summers off, no breaks,” she said. The mother of six earned scholarships in the process, including a grant from the Jeannette Rankin Foundation, which awards scholar grants to individuals who demonstrate financial need and identify as women, aged 35 and older.
Having earned a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and prelaw, Hall said she would want to start a grant writing business to help non-profit organizations that assist others to make it in life.
“It’s not where you start, but it’s where you end up,” said Hall.