When he considers what it took to earn his college degree, Larry Shuemake is immediately drawn to the word “sacrifice.” For him, it’s a word that comes in many forms, something he learned as a young man.
“I failed in my first year of college right after high school, but excelled in my first year with the United States Army,” says Larry. “With two combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan in a span of four years, I managed to make it back home safely with new perspectives while many of my comrades did not. Although I only served four years, the scars of war last a lifetime and I made a promise to live and work hard, as if my life depends on it. Eric Thomas once said, ‘If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.’”
With vigor and determination, Larry took that can-do spirit to the Middle East where he worked for the next six years, but soon realized he could only advance so far without a college degree. After returning to the United States in 2016, he was a man in a hurry, eager to earn that college degree as soon as possible. “That’s when I learned about ECPI University, and its online year-round program,” he says. “Earning a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years is a big challenge, but one I was ready to accept.
“This did not happen by chance or luck. I created my own pathway through this jungle called life and I worked painfully hard every day, with the support of my family and ECPI University, to get where I am today.”– Larry Shuemake, Online Criminal Justice Graduate
“With ECPI’s help, I was able to attain a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with the highest honors. With my professional experience and a degree, I was offered an opportunity to support the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Junior Intelligence Analyst in a contractor capacity. It is extremely important to note that I would NOT have qualified for this position without a degree. Fast forward to 2021, I am now operating as a Senior Intelligence Analyst Level 3 (contractor) in Washington, DC with the FBI’s Insider Threat Office.”
Larry is also back at ECPI University, this time working on his Master of Science in Management (Homeland Security), and is expected to graduate this summer. From there, he plans to earn his doctorate. He’s also completed the vetting process with the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) for Special Agent and is scheduled to attend its academy in May at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Georgia.
How does he manage it all with a wife and children? It’s all about sacrifice and he quickly acknowledges all they have sacrificed to support his career. It’s also about desire. “I’m a fighter and I want this bad!” says Larry. “This did not happen by chance or luck. I created my own pathway through this jungle called life and I worked painfully hard every day, with the support of my family and ECPI University, to get where I am today.”