ELKHART — The last couple years have had their challenges for the Gosser family of Elkhart.
Jarrod and Charlene Gosser have both been full-time students at Ivy Tech Community College, while both also working full-time jobs and finding time to raise four children.
On Friday, May 10, they celebrated that hard work at Ivy Tech North Central’s commencement ceremony.
“Sometimes we don’t even know how we did it,” Jarrod said in an interview hours before commencement. “It’s sort of a blur.”
Charlene said it took a lot of time management on their part and sacrificing some family time to fit everything in.
“It was a huge challenge,” she said.
Jarrod Gosser started at Ivy Tech the summer of 2009, after being laid off from working in the RV industry. He encouraged Charlene, his girlfriend at the time, to also go back to school.
She joined him at Ivy Tech that fall, both majoring in business administration, then marrying in February 2011.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments,” Jarrod said. They’re both in their 30s, both raising kids and working full-time jobs — Jarrod most recently at Forest River and Charlene most recently at Meijer — but were able to regularly make the dean’s list, graduate cum laude with honors and are a part of Kappa Beta Delta International Honor Society for business students, he said.
Their experience at the college was great overall, they agreed.
“We’ve gained a real sense of family at Ivy Tech,” Jarrod said.
It’s also set a good example for the three sons and a daughter they’re raising together.
Jarrod noted that he’s glad they get “to see that Mom and Dad have this kind of appreciation for education.”
They’ve talked with the kids about their schooling along the way, Charlene said. “They’re proud,” she added.
Next, the Gossers want to “catch their breath,” Jarrod said, and take some time not being quite so busy. In the long term, though, they would love to put their degrees to work and run a business together. First, they need to figure out what that business should be.
“She wants a flower shop and I want a motorcycle shop,” Jarrod said with a laugh.