Peedee Beltran Lee, an online student at Eastern New Mexico University pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting and personal financial planning, aims to become a certified public accountant to help those with financial struggles.
"I want to help those who cannot afford to go to school. I came from a third-world country, and I've seen what real poverty looks like," explains Peedee, who was born and raised in the Philippines. "I want to be able to provide for my family, and I want to extend my blessings to those who are in need."
Peedee was an electronics engineering student in the Philippines before her family moved to Guam in 2008. She joined the United States Air Force as a knowledge operations manager, which required her to handle enlisted performance reports, military decorations, administrative works, postal services and human resource management.
Since she has been in the military, Peedee has lived at multiple bases, including Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Keesler AFB in Mississippi, Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and Cannon AFB in New Mexico. She was also deployed as a postal specialist in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
"My husband is in the military service as well which is why we are in New Mexico. As I always say, home is where the military takes us," says the ENMU student, who separated from the military service in 2015 to raise her eldest son, who is now three years old. Peedee and her husband welcomed their second son last year. During that time, she began attending ENMU.
"I was considered a full-time student during my two pregnancies, and I consider that one of my greatest achievements," she states. "I am a little older than traditional students, as I will be thirty-two this year, but I have found that age is irrelevant when it comes to learning."
She believes Eastern was the best choice for her education, stating, "Eastern promotes diversity and they empower students every step of the way. Further, ENMU staff and professors are so accommodating to military service personnel and their dependents. I would definitely recommend ENMU to all of my military colleagues."
After becoming a student at ENMU, Peedee decided she wanted a change in career, which led her to take a financial accounting class with Konni Wallace, an instructor of accounting who she credits for "validating my decision of becoming an accountant."
Peedee explained, "The moment I opened the book, I knew right then that I was going to become an accountant. It was definitely an answered prayer because I was in search of something that I would truly enjoy as a career when I got out of the military."
Dr. Corbin, assistant professor of accounting, and Dr. Hemley, professor of finance, have also been very beneficial to Peedee during her educational career. She avers, "Dr. Corbin explains accounting concepts very well, and that's what I prefer as a student. Dr. Hemley is also one of my favorite professors because he makes sure that his students understand finance."
"Intermediate Accounting I and II" were the two classes Peedee has enjoyed the most because of her love for accounting and numbers.
Although she is now an online student, Peedee previously spent one semester on campus. Her favorite spot was the Jack Williamson Liberal Arts building, as it "provided numerous resources to students."
The accounting student made the Dean's List in both fall 2017 and fall 2018. She was a recipient of the Woody Turner Endowed Scholarship in Accounting and has an award for Outstanding Achievement in Personal Financial Planning.
To other students with her degree plan, Peedee advises: "Study hard. Accounting and personal financial planning are not easy, but I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to study so I can better myself and secure my future.
"Whenever I lose my motivation to study, I think of those who were not given the opportunity to attend school. These folks make me realize that I should not waste this opportunity that was given to me," she continues. "That's why I make sure I always excel in school because I want to help them and give them the chance to improve themselves. Less poverty, better world."