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Meet Our Students Across the Nation

Sandy Adams '01—Florida

Sandy Adams Sandy Adams is no stranger to challenges. Living as a single parent without a high school diploma wasn’t something she asked for, but when she found herself there she was determined to make a better life for herself and her daughter. Knowing that education is the key, she took her GED and enrolled in the police academy at her local community college.

As she worked her way up to master deputy she met and married a fellow deputy who tragically died in the line of duty.

Adams involved herself with victim assistance issues and helped organize a local chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors. Realizing that she needed her college degree, she found Columbia College-Orlando, perfectly suited to her demanding schedule. Receiving her criminal justice administration degree in 2001 was a step toward even greater challenges. In 2002 she successfully ran for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives.

"I’ve always been involved with victim assistance issues," Adams said. "Attaining political office has enabled me to affect laws that are written and make a difference for the people of Florida."

Adams is particularly proud of legislation she sponsored that closed a loophole that allowed sex offenders to receive crime scene photos. The fact that it passed unanimously in both chambers is proof she is doing the right kind of work, she said.

But perhaps Adams is most proud of proving to her daughter that challenges and adversity can be overcome — and great things can happen with hard work and education.

"I wanted to show my daughter that you can reach your goals," Adams said. "You have to put forth the effort, but education is key. The more education you have, the more likely you are to succeed."

Her daughter received her degree from the local state university in May 2002.

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