Like Daughters, Like Mother

Family celebrates two graduates during Northwestern commencement


First Katie (Bosch ’18) Hollinger, right, had a great experience at Northwestern. That led her sister Emily to enroll, and two years later mom Kelli began work on her online master’s degree. Emily and Kelli both graduated in May.

Kelli Bosch remembers the feeling she had while sitting in Christ Chapel during her oldest daughter Katie’s RED101 visit.

“It just felt like home—a place where she would grow so much in her walk with the Lord, study in a great nursing program, and have the opportunity to run cross country and track,” she says. “And Katie did have a wonderful experience at Northwestern.”

Little did Kelli know the impact Katie’s decision to attend NWC would make on their family.

Two years later, younger daughter Emily chose to follow in Katie’s footsteps. “I got to visit her a lot, and I fell in love with Northwestern,” Emily says, echoing her mother’s sentiment. “I really felt like this was where I was meant to be.”

When Emily was a sophomore, Kelli decided to go back to school to earn a master’s degree. A fourth grade teacher in Des Moines, she wanted to prepare herself to move into an administrative position. Because of her daughters’ experiences, she says, “There was no other place I wanted to go.”

This May, the Bosches’ Northwestern experiences came full circle. Emily walked across the commencement stage having earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business education and secondary education. Several moments later, Kelli received the hood recognizing her completion of an online master’s degree in educational administration.

Emily says she is proud of her mother. “Not many people can stay home for 15 years, have five kids, then do schoolwork while doing a full-time job,” she told the Des Moines Register.

The two found ways to assist each other on their college journeys. Emily helped her mother with the technological challenges of putting together an education portfolio, and Kelli provided advice as Emily worked on lesson plans and reviewed her experiences in the classroom.

“The graduate program energized me,” says Kelli. “I was reminded of the reason I’m here. And the professors are wonderful—very accommodating and encouraging. At just the right time, I’d get an email from a professor saying, ‘You can do this.’”

Emily was an all-conference and NAIA Scholar-Athlete softball player who served as a peer mentor in the Compass Center for Career & Calling, an admissions student ambassador, and a member of the Campus Ministry Team. She is already thinking about earning an MBA and possibly becoming a professor.

Her mom’s advice? “Don’t wait as long as I did to go back to school!”

May 8 didn’t mark the end of the Bosch family’s experience at Northwestern. Youngest daughter Megan will enroll in the fall.

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