“I went from mom and wife to ‘what am I going to do now’,” she said.
Instead of getting down about her situation, Mundis took it as a new opportunity. She seized the chance to go back to school herself and earn a degree that would help her to progress in a new field.
A long-time St. Cloud resident, Mundis didn’t have the opportunity to go to college out of high school. No one in her family had ever attended and she didn’t have access to financial aid.
Mundis always had the goal to earn her degree and had been taking one class a semester at St. Cloud State since 2006. When she started full time, she had a 4.0 GPA and sophomore status.
“I never expected to be here, but it’s worked out well,” she said. “I love, love, love coming to class. I don’t miss a class.”
— Angela Mundis
To make returning to college full-time work financially, Mundis found an on campus job in the philosophy department and went to work waitressing, bartending and in retail.
Despite juggling multiple jobs and a full credit load, Mundis still found time to volunteer and get involved on campus. A geography major with a GIS emphasis, she studied abroad on a short-term trip to Costa Rica. She volunteered with the Intensive English Center (IEC) meeting with two Saudi women every Sunday night.
When the IEC ended the Sunday night program, Mundis and the women moved their weekly meetings from the campus library to their own homes where they cooked or went shopping together.“We ended up great friends,” Mundis said. “They found a good resource in me, and I found this part of me that I really love.”
She credits the scholarships she’s received with making a difference — providing her with the little extra she needed so she could focus more on her studies, boosting her confidence and inspiring her to work harder.
In 2015-16, Mundis earned the Mary Jane Young Scholarship of $1,800. “This is amazing because of the generosity of donors,” she said. “I can’t even imagine what it would mean to young people too. To anyone who gets it. It’s like showing them that all your hard work pays off.”
With additional scholarships for 2016-17, Mundis said she will be able to spend more time volunteering and getting more involved on campus where she is president of the Geography Club and Gamma Theta Upsilon Honor Society. “It’s my senior year. I can be really involved on campus again because of my great scholarships,” she said.
Sitting on a panel at orientation for new School of Public Affairs students, Mundis welcomed them to campus by encouraging them to branch out, work on campus and visit the Huskies Scholarships portal and apply. “I tell every student I meet to apply for scholarships,” she said.
Mundis’ son was the first in the family to graduate from college in spring 2015. Angela will be the second this spring, followed by her daughter a week later.
What’s next, she doesn’t know. She plans to find a position working with GIS, preferably for a nonprofit organization.
“Through the last six years I’ve been telling my kids ‘You can do anything you want to do. The whole world is open to you right now,’” she said. “I’m a little older. I’m a little more experienced. But nothing else holds me back. The world is open to me now.”