Underwood did not graduate from high school but knew the importance of an education. Once she knew high school wasn’t for her, she began taking classes to get her GED at Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC). After receiving her GED, Underwood earned an Associate of Arts Degree from OTC.
“Although I now wish I had received my high school diploma, I feel that doing so has not greatly hindered my education, and with some very hard work, I feel that I have been able to excel,” said Underwood.
Laura then transferred to Missouri State University. “I chose Missouri State because I have always wanted to go to the University since I was a little girl. I have always thought Missouri State was a fantastic University, but I also have a very personal reason for deciding on this University as a child.”
One year for Christmas, Missouri State adopted Laura and her family and provided them with presents and other gifts, that without the help of the University, her family would not have been able to afford. She explained, “This wonderful act of generosity has stuck with me throughout the years.”
Once she receives her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, Underwood plans to pursue a master’s degree in library science. Since there is not a specific undergraduate degree in this field she chose to explore the world of philosophy while minoring in both English and creative writing. She believes these subjects will help her later on in her education and career.
Underwood plans to study library science through a collaborative program with the University of Missouri-Columbia. “When I first decided on this career path several years ago, I thought I would eventually have to move but was overjoyed when I found out that I would be able to continue my studies in my hometown.”
Underwood dreams big and strives for more as she approaches her upper division classes. She participated in the poetry contest and presented one of her papers at the annual philosophy conference last year. Underwood said, “I hope to become more involved with both the University and my field of study this coming school year.”