Paying it Forward - 2010 Profiles

Tiffany Wise Layden

Alumni - Smyrna, Georgia
Tiffany’s journey at University of Phoenix started in the early 1980’s. She was working a full-time retail management job trying to juggle class attendance and homework at a public university. Without the financial resources to cut back on her working hours, she had to make a choice. “A new university had opened a small campus nearby and was tailoring their schedule to working adults. I met with a representative and after verifying that the program was everything I’d hoped for, I applied and was accepted to University of Phoenix. This was so early in the University’s history that I was actually awarded a four-digit student I.D. number.” After multiple starts and stops mandated by her career, Tiffany graduated in 2002, almost twenty years after graduating high school. Tiffany now works as a Regional Director of Fundraising for a prestigious national non-profit organization. She would like to pay forward her education to her fiancé John.

John Layden

Recipient - Smyrna, Georgia
After graduating high school John enlisted in the Army. He was stationed overseas and became a paratrooper and a member of an elite water rescue team. He also trained military personnel in tactical maneuvers and was frequently recognized for his skills and accomplishments. After over eight years of service he returned to the United States and the civilian labor market. He worked as a concrete truck driver and was acknowledged as a natural leader and promoted several times. However, the shaky economy snuck in and now John is looking for other career options. He knows a college degree will open doors for him just like it has for Tiffany. He also wants to show his daughters that college education is an important personal and professional goal. “One other thing motivates him,” explains Tiffany. “For the first time, John met his biological family at our wedding. Everyone is very excited about this reunion, and John wants to make both his families proud to have an aspiring college graduate in their midst.”

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