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Meet Emily Picou

Finding Your Purpose

Emily Picou had nearly given up on earning her college degree after a family tragedy caused her to drop out 20 years ago. But when she found the online program at Loyola University New Orleans, Emily was finally able to finish what she started. Now, in May 2023, she walked across the stage to receive her bachelor of arts degree in psychology.  

“I became a mom and a wife, and then I ended up having another child with Autism a few years later and dedicating my life to my kids, so I really put myself on the back burner,” Emily said. “I didn't think that I was ever going to get to pursue my dreams and, you know, finish the things that I'd started on my original college journey.”

Programs Designed for Busy Adults  

As a full-time mom to children with special needs, Emily needed a flexible program that she could complete on her own time. When she saw an advertisement for Loyola’s entirely online program, she thought it might be too good to be true.  

“And so I just said, let's just start the application process, let's just see how this goes,” she said. “Once I started at Loyola, in my first class, it was amazing. And I just felt like this is where I'm supposed to be, even though I had so many obstacles in my way.” 

Those obstacles made Emily even more passionate about her studies. Loyola helped connect Emily to something more—she found her calling. 

“Over time, I said, you know, I needed those obstacles that brought me to now. Because now I am so invested and I have so much passion for this,” she said. “Now I can tell anybody with full confidence that if I can do it, you can do it.”

Immersed in her psychology courses, Emily connected her new knowledge to her real life experiences as a mom and advocate for people with special needs. She plans to attend graduate school next, but her long-term mission is to start a business supporting special needs adults in her community by helping them find their sense of purpose through meaningful employment. 

Support for the Whole Person

“I feel like I’ve become a whole person here. Spiritually, academically, I’ve gained so much wisdom. Now, I feel like I can go out into the world and be a person of service,” Emily explained. “I feel like Loyola has given me the tools and the confidence that I have a purpose. Now I have what I need to be able to live out that purpose. And I cannot thank Loyola enough, honestly. I'm so grateful.” 

It’s never too late to finish what you started. Loyola Online makes it easy to transfer credits you’ve already earned to apply toward our online degree programs. As soon as you submit your application, Loyola will order your post-secondary transcripts at no-charge to you and credit evaluations are automatically completed upon admittance. Connect with an admissions counselor by emailing or texting 504-588-6025.