Destiny Jedlicka, with her son Jacob

This is the third in the “Pathway Series” of stories on Destiny Jedlicka, an Orlando resident who grew up in Florida’s foster care system. Read Part 2 here, which chronicled Jedlicka’s successful first semester at Rollins College. In Part 3, we catch up with her in the midst of a more challenging spring term.

After experiencing the most enjoyable and satisfying semester of her life last fall, Destiny Jedlicka’s spring term at Rollins College has been more of a grind.

“It’s been pretty crazy…this is probably my hardest semester in forever,” Jecklicka said. The 30-year-old student is pursuing a business degree at Rollins after being placed in Florida’s foster care system at age 8 and withdrawing from high school during her senior year to work full time.

Jedlicka’s spring semester classes — BUS 230: Financial and Managerial Accounting and BUS 233: Micro and Macro Economics — have required her to step out of her academic comfort zone and face an ‘old foe’ head on.

“Math has always been an area of weakness, so I’ve had to do a lot of learning on the fly,” she said.

The accounting class has been particularly challenging. Jedlicka said more than half of about 20 students in her class have withdrawn since the beginning of the semester. She and some of her fellow remaining students took it upon themselves to ask their instructor for help.

“It’s just a lot of materials to get through in a short amount of time, and it’s more of a self-taught type of course,” Jedlicka said. “But we were vocal about how some of us are more visual learners and a few other things.

“After that, she (the instructor) started going through things a little more thoroughly.”

Jedlicka, who strongly considered withdrawing from the accounting class herself, decided to stick with the course and find as many pockets of time as she could to study and to improve.

In addition to the two classes she’s taking and working full time as an HR assistant for an Orlando-based pest control business, Jedlicka is mother to a 4-year-old son named Jacob.

“I have a child, so all my time at home is spent with my son and my family,” she said. “I’ll do homework and study during my lunch break, I’ll stay up late working on stuff, or I’ll get to school early so I can study some more.”

Does she take a breather during the weekends?

“I don’t have weekends, I just study and work on my assignments,” she said.

With summer on the horizon, it looks like Jedlicka will soon be taking a breather…from the classroom, at least.

“We just bought this house, so there’s a bunch of house projects for us to work on,” Jedlicka said. “I’m most likely going to take the summer off from school.”

This story is part of Florida College Access Network’s “Pathway Series”, a year-long project that seeks to highlight the diversity of experiences students face as they pursue postsecondary degrees. Each student will be profiled at the start of the school year, during the fall, in the spring, and during the summer following the conclusion of their first year.





Destiny Jedlicka is making new memories and finding inspiration at Rollins College
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