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Watson Works to Keep a Promise

Wednesday, May 5, 2021


Annsara Watson and Karen JonesWhen Annsara Watson graduates from St. Louis Community College this month with an associate degree in general transfer studies, she will be one step closer to keeping a promise.

“It feels amazing to know that I am at the first completion step in my goals,” said the 52-year-old nontraditional student. “It only pushes me to work harder to fulfill the rest of the promise.”

Although she has tried to earn her associate degree since the late 1980s, Watson always came up short until recently.

In fall 2019, Watson made a promise to her mother, Karen Jones (right in the photo above), 74, a colon-cancer survivor, that before she draws her last breath, she will have her daughter’s associate and bachelor's degrees.

Working to keep this promise has driven Watson to achieve academically and shine as a leader at STLCC-Florissant Valley.

A retired licensed practical nurse, Watson has been on the dean's list since she enrolled in spring 2020. She boasts a 3.6 GPA, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a representative for the Student Government Association. She also owns a multimedia business, Dominating Productionz, LLC.

What is even more impressive is the fact that Watson has achieved such success despite being diagnosed with cervical cancer in February 2008.

“Nursing is my passion. I had originally gone to college to become a doctor, but I’m so happy that I chose this field instead,” Watson said. “I believe that everyone has a calling and mine was nursing.”

When Watson became ill with her first blood clot to the lungs, she was unable to do the job that she loved so much.

“My mind was still willing, but my body could no longer handle the stressors of the field,” Watson said.

Earning an associate degree is a steppingstone to Watson obtaining her bachelor’s degree in business administration and making good on her promise.

Karen Jones is glad her daughter is working to better herself.

“She did promise me that, but I am not holding her to that. I’m just going along with the flow. What she does, she does for herself, and it won’t be for me ... it will be for her,” Jones said. “She adheres to that because it makes her push herself more, but I'm not holding her to that with a yardstick. I’m not pushing her, because I may take my last breath in the next five minutes.”

Jones said that if she takes her last breath before Watson reaches her goal, she doesn’t  want her daughter to think she has failed.

“If I do, I want her to continue to do the things she wants to do before she leaves this Earth,” Jones said. “I'm proud of her. She has been through a lot of things that have set her back. She has been very ill, but she has been determined to go back to school.”

When Watson graduated from high school, Jones did not think her daughter really applied herself.

“She met this boy and had a son. She got her LPN, but now she wants to get her degree,” Jones said. “She doesn’t have to impress me and get a degree for me to love her more, but I am proud she is doing so well. I’m just amazed at the things she has accomplished and how good her grades are. I am in awe at how well she is doing.”

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