Customer Profiles

We asked customers to share their personal stories and it might surprise you to know that you may have more in common with other PERRLA users than you think. Knowing that other people are going through what you’re going through can sometimes make a stressful situation a little bit less stressful. Take a few moments to read and reflect on how some of your fellow students are juggling school, family, work - and sometimes a whole lot more. If you'd like to share your story with the PERRLA world, send it via email to:

Laura S.

Growing up, my father told all four of his children we could be whatever we wanted.  I happened to be the only one who took his words literally.

I was: a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a tutor for gifted and talented students, a store clerk, a cook in a local mom and pop restaurant, a nursing assistant in a nursing home, a substitute teacher, and a mom.

At the age of 40 with a daughter preparing to go to college and a son that was starting high school, I needed to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  So, I started nursing school and graduated in 2007 with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  I continued with what my father told me and graduated in 2012 with my Master's of Science in Nursing as a Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Yes, I was one of the oldest students in nursing school, and far from the smartest.  Along the way I learned, and failed, along with students the same age as my children, but made it in the end.

It does my heart good for people to ask what I did before I was a nurse.  While I've lived a full life and had more experiences than most, I still have many more experiences waiting for me.

Thanks, Daddy.

Lisa D.

Hello everyone, I am Lisa, 49 years old and back in school. My son told me 3 years ago I should get an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice through the University of Phoenix. I didn't like high school, and wondered what going back to school after 31 years would be like.

This has been one exciting experience after another. I ended up getting a job at a Federal half way house as  security personnel in May of 2011, then 12 weeks before I was to receive my Associate's Degree I was promoted to Case worker.

Hang on, this gets better. I remember telling my enrollment counselor I was going to go for my Bachelor's Degree! So, now I am in my last year of school and as of the start of 2013, I was promoted to Case Manager. This never would have happened if I had never taken the first step to go back to school.

I came from a broken home and we were never encouraged to better ourselves. I have always had a job and provided for my son. Now, he is grown and lives in Chicago and I live in Phoenix. Going back to school is something I did for myself, no one else and it has opened so many doors I never knew existed.

I was grateful for PERRLA and their product because I did not know how to put a proper paper together. I type in what I need and Wha-La, the paper gets formatted. I love it!

What I found out in life is nothing is impossible, if you want to do something you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse. Do yourself a favor and follow your dreams, life is to short to be stuck in a dead end job without any education. The population I deal with have just been released from Federal Prison. Most have nothing when they come out. I encourage them to do something with their life, something other than committing crimes, like go to. Show your kids that you can do anything you set your mind to. Be who you want to be and good luck!!

Craig M.

In 2007 I became disabled with Rheumatoid Arthritis and a degenerative back disorder. After being out of work for 6 months, I attempted to return. I have a wife and 7 children to support (five of which are still at home), but was unable to work at all. 

Not wanting my children to see that I was giving up on life, I decided to go back to school.  Our youngest six children (all blessings from adoption) have some form of learning disability which given them various challenges throughout school.  I did not want them to see me use my physical disability as an excuse to not do something with all the time I had on my hands.

I also wanted them to see that it does not matter how old one is, or how many challenges one faces, that if you have the drive and the desire you can accomplish anything you want.  Since that time, I have graduated with dual bachelors degrees in Religion and Psychology.  I am also in the middle of two Master's degrees, MDiv. and Pastoral Counseling. I am not sure what I will do with my degrees as I am physically challenged just to walk and move around on a daily basis.

Typing is becoming more and more difficult due to the pain in my hands and wrists and I can only sit for a few minutes at time.  However, despite the challenges I will not let my family see me give up!  I give all credit to God for allowing me to come this far.

Phil. 4:13  "I can do all things through Him that gives me strength"

Dianna G.

I am 57 years young and decided to go back to school in 2011, talk about culture shock.  I have not been in school since 1988 when I graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing. Of course since I work full time, I'm doing an on-line course and I'm set to graduate on of all days, April Fools day.  After gettign my BSN, I plan to go straight for my Masters, with a goal to teach nursing.

For all of you who are just starting out, just go for it.  Do not give into your excuses for not starting, or you will end up like me in your 50's asking "Can I really do this?". When I learned how to copy and paste I thought I was "All That", so to speak, but when I received my first A for my paper, I knew that I really could do this.

Do not worry about a support system, be your own source of support and take it one class at a time and before you know it, you'll be done. For those of you who work a full-time job, buckle down, do extra shifts, whatever it take.  Then put that money away in a separate account for your education.  My Master program is going to cost me.

Everyone, just do it for yourself, do not expect anything but an accomplishment, then CELEBRATE when you obtain your goals.

Marti W.

I worked approximately 60 hours per week for twenty-five years culminating in my final position managing a busing company for the St. Louis Archdioceses.  At the age of forty-three, I suffered a massive stroke and was forced to retire on disability.  Over the next five years, I was diagnosed with over twenty different chronic illnesses and diseases such as chronic mylogenous leukemia, diabetes, and congestive heart failure just to name a few.  I thought my life as a productive and useful citizen was over!

After spending some time wallowing in self-pity and watching my daughter of 20 give up on her education, I decided that my life was not over!  I enrolled in school to embark on a career that does not require the use of my body, just my mind.  I am now in my senior year studying Psychology, my daughter has also continued her studies.  I currently hold a CGPA of 3.71 and am a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  I guess my brain is functioning just fine!

My plans are to finish my bachelors degree, then continue on to my masters degree in Psychological Counseling.  I haven¹t decided whether or not to continue onto my Doctorate Degree in Psychology, but we shall see what the future brings!

Whitney O.

My name is Whitney, and I am a single mom to a wonderful seventeen years old son, Seth. I would be a liar if I said that I had the "Beaver Cleaver" family, that is far from the truth.

After years of a highly serious drug addiction; not to mention the attempted suicides, I admitted myself to a psychiatric unit.  During this time I fell in love with a man, became pregnant and was told he did not want children and would pay for my abortion.  Of course I refused and I had a beautiful son; whom next to God is the joy of my life.

You may think I am still crazy but it wasn't until I found God that my life started to change; I learned to forgive those who had hurt me.  Yes, I forgave my parents and my son's father and most important, I forgave myself. Everything was going so good for me and Seth, I had a good-paying job that I really loved, owned my own home, vehicle, and going to church. What a great feeling; life is good, simple but good!  All I needed now was a good man who would love Seth as his and me unconditionally.

An old boyfriend pooped up one day and he wanted to rekindle our relationship.  I was somewhat apprehensive about this because the last time we were together we were getting high.  Well, he told me that he was clean and wanted to go to church with me; that being back with me gave him a new lease on life.  Well, soon he started making one excuse after another, this should have been my sign to leave and not look back, butI was falling in love, believing in my heart I could actually help get him in church and live a happy life.

Six months into the relationship, and we were getting high again.  Looking back I really wished I would have never seen him.  Please do not misunderstand, he did not make me get high, I did that all on my own, he just influenced me.  We were together for fourteen months and during that time I destroyed everything I stood for, bouncing checks, getting large amounts of money from people who love and trusted me with no intentions of ever paying them back, just about to lose a great job; Seth he really paid for my actions.

This hit me like a ton of bricks, I have destroyed my life again.  My son was so mad at me for what I was doing, I was completely broke and was getting ready to lose everything I had and would most likely go to jail for writing bad checks.  I called my dad and told him everything and asked if I could come there and get my life back in order yet again, he agreed and here I am.  Seth stayed with my sister until school was out then he came here as well.

Two years later, I have gone back to school and became a Certified Medical Assistant and I work in a clinic that deals with drug addicts.  Seth eventually forgave me and I got back on track with God.  I started having lots of pain in my back and numbness in my legs and feet and needing two knee replacements.  I can barely walk and I must use a cane and at times needing assistance when I have to go in open spaces.

I refuse to let these inabilities keep me down, I am currently enrolled at Colorado Technical College an on line campus to get my BA in addiction counseling.  As a forty seven year old woman with a 3.55 GPA; I can honestly give Perrla some credit, APA Style is not easy, and your program helps me a lot in my paper presentations.  I appreciate you guys for coming up with the software to help people out who struggles in essay formatting.

I am a very happy person, with good and bad days.  No matter what I never give up, and if these inabilities turn into disabilities then that's the way it will be. Seth is a great kid and an excellent student who has dreams of being a veterinarian; him and I have a great relationship.  I still have my mind and I can have something to offer this world, I am not done until God says I am done, so I will continue to fight the good fight.
God bless!

Dave M.

I am the tender young age of sixty-four and pursuing a diploma in Addictions Counselling. I have been at this endeavour for the past couple of years; hard yes, impossible no. Why? Because I, and others, believe that I have something to offer.

Also, when I was young, school was not an option, working was. Throughout life I have pursued and accomplished many levels and areas of education. Never give up, you can and will do it. My life has given me rich experiences that have been too hard won to be simply thrown away. With a diploma in hand, perhaps I can plant a seed that God will see fit to germinate in someone else¹s life.

Learning has been a gift to me, I value knowledge, the mastery of it is of a great service. Lack of knowledge almost certainly insures servitude. I have shared my knowledge of PERRLA with 5 young people in the last couple of months and will continue to do so, because I believe in the product and the people behind PERRLA. Share what is good, ­ endeavour, fix what is not.

Laurell E.

A desire for a new career path and an update my computer skills brought me back to college. My chosen path was an MBA at an online university. This enabled me to fully utilize current computer technology on a daily basis. My university counselor recommended PERRLA for APA to me. Formatting papers, especially references is automatic with PERRLA for APA, and it was always correct. One year and one half later I graduated with an MBA. Achieving this degree is one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and it would have been much harder without PERRLA.

After completing my degree, I wrote a collection of preschool and kindergarten children's stories using PERRLA. The stories are free to download and use. Your child or students is the illustrator of these stories.

Angelina C.

My name is Angelina, full time Labor & Delivery RN, wife of a very supportive husband and mother of 2 wonderful kids, one a sophomore in college the other in junior high.  I graduated with my ADN in 2005 and chose not to earn my BSN at that time because I was DONE with writing papers and taking tests.  Eventually, the itch to learn again and earn more made me eager to earn my BSN and MSN-FNP, this is where PERRLA came into my life.

I am so grateful for your software!  Writing papers instantly became easy since I didn’t have to worry about the details of APA with regard to references or margins, just the “meat” of the paper.  My method of writing papers is to do the research and save the references in the new PERRLA paper, allow the information float in my head to figure out how to write the paper and then sit down and pound out the paper in a few hours. 

I am now earning my MSN-FNP, looking forward to caring for patients and teaching at the university level.  My kids have told me I have inspired them to move on, not to settle for where they are at, knowing that education is an investment of a lifetime.  Thank you, PERRLA, for making my otherwise chaotic and busy life easier, any way to decrease stress in my life is wonderful – exactly what YOU are!

Olu R.

I just started my masters program on-line after being out of school for over 25 years and my God, PERRLA got me through.

It organized my work and allowed me to be in an APA format which are what all professors are looking for, for your paper to be graded. Thank God for this program. I am grateful.

Dianna M.

Thank you for the opportunity to say "thanks" for getting me through undergrad and graduate school. I am sure if I continue to persue a degree at the Doctorate level PERRLA will be a much used app on my computer.

PERRLA hasn't only assisted me in my studies but has assisted me to turn out "kick-ass" reports for work. Again, THANK YOU!!

Kim S.

I am a wife of 24 years and a mother of four children, three girls and one boy and eight wonderful grandchildren. I graduated from high school in 1980 and did not pursue a college education. I have worked at many jobs, McDonalds, Landmark Bank, Winn-Dixie bakery, cocktail waitress, hostess, gate agent at sun jet airlines, and assistant administrator at an assisted living facility, just to name a few.

We live in the rural area about 35 minutes from any city, and it's very beautiful and peaceful here. The last 9 years of my life my husband and I both worked production at Hunter Marine and Monterey Boats. This was a blessing due to where we lived and only having one vehicle. I did enjoyed my job but it seemed like there was no potential to move up no matter what I did.

I also had my 100-year-old grandmother living with us at the time and she needs me home so I took time off. My husband was laid off one month later do to lack of available work. The down side of us working at the same place we are now both unemployed,  and I have been off ever since.

While trying to find some employment I eventually got a job offer to cap bottles. When we discussed where I lived it was a no go but they did mention the possiblity that I could go back to school to further my education. I thought they were crazy! I am a 49-year-old woman who has not been to school in 31 year! OMG! So many things have changed since I have been to school. I can't do this.

Well I did some research and found out I am not the only one at my age pursuring a new career challenge. The more I researched and talked to different colleges the more I realised I coudl do this. It will be hard, but it wouldn't be the first time I was in a hard spot and made it through. I decided to enroll online with Stevens Henager College for my Associate Degree in Graphic Arts. I would like to become a Webpage Designer. Being home during the day seemed like a great opportunity to do something for myself and further my education.

I started last July and I have to say I am doing great. Getting A's, but it takes me twice as long to do my work but I am getting it done. As a matter of fact the Administrator at the college referred me to PERRLA to help with my APA papers. PERRLA for APA has been a great help for me. I also like the emails from Perrla; they put a big smile on my face. I have a long way to go and I know it will not be easy, but the professors, tutoring and my ambition will help me through.

Diane J.

My name is Diane and I am 58 years old. At this time I am a sophomore at Strayer University attempting to acquire a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Service Management. As you can imagine this was a scary undertaking for me after being out of school for so long. I graduated from high school in 1971. I am a single mom to a wonderful daughter whose younger life was quite tumultuous due to the fact I was in a violent relationship with her father as well as medicating myself with drugs and alcohol.

I want to encourage anyone that is considering going back to school. It is never to late. Yes, life sometimes gets in the way, but I am a living witness that you can achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Here I am ten years later with a 3.0 GPA and looking forward to my graduation. This feeling is worth all the hard work it takes to get here. I have also just completed my training as a commercial truck driver. I have driven from California to North Dakota, and the sites were breathtaking. Stop sitting on the couch wishing your life was different, get out there and make it different. Take it from me, you can do it.

Make 2013 your year!

Caren S.

This author received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, magna cum laude in 1990 from Florida Atlantic University so, therefore you are correct with the statement that many students getting advanced degrees today are adult students with families and jobs, etc.  I myself have wavered between a Master of Science in Counseling and a M.Ed. in ESOL and Reading.

You see this author has overcome the disease of drug addiction for the past 12 years and has kept it in remission by doing a few simple steps.  In addition she was diagnosed as a child with Bipolar 1 Disorder so, there was another strike against her to fail!  There was no way after beating the disease of addiction one day at a time that she was going to let the Bipolar take over her life.  That is why she went for the idea of the Masters in Counseling with concentrations in both Addiction and Professional Counseling so that she could work with people just like her.

This author could let them know that there did not have to be any victims anymore!  We all had choices to make and we could choose not to use and we could choose to take the steps.  In addition we could choose to follow the advise of our psychiatrist and be a productive member of society, even if we were only able to work part time!

This author also wants you to know how very helpful and necessary the PERRLA program has been to her paper writing!  Without it I do not know where she would be and she has recommended it to several colleagues as well.


I am a registered nurse and live on the Southern Oregon Coast with my lovely wife of nearly 29 years.  No big deal really, someone might say, because many folks are changing careers and pursuing nursing as a new profession. What's different in my case is where I've been, and where I'm going. 

I'm now in the second year of my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program and hope to finish my Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) track within the next year or so.  By that time, I'll be 60 years-old, married for 30 years and enroute to a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP), all while working full-time, going to school full-time and helping out at home (we've raised nine children and now have 13 grandkids).

PERRLA has been there for me as I completed my first nursing degree (ADN), my bachelor's program, and now my master's, with consistent grades of A (most of them with full points) on the scholarly papers I submit.  Slogging my way through APA formatted references really used to be a nightmare and caused me a considerable amount of stress, but thanks to PERRLA, I can really focus on content.  You guys take the worry out of referencing.

For me, nursing is career number 5: In the USMC at the end of Vietnam; in the safety/security field for many years; work as a sworn law enforcement officer; freelance writer and photographer, and now a Psychiatric RN (since 2009). I know motivation and hard work are important in making these life changes, especially in academics, but support is crucial as well, and that is where PERRLA really shines.


Cynthia F.

First I want to share a little back ground why I waited so late to further my education. My daughter had three children at 16 years old. I also had three children at 16 years old and by the time I was 20 years old I had five children. I had a hard time taking care of my children and hers as a phlebotomist. So when my daughter turned 17 years old I registered her in a vocational school to become a LPN. I cared for her three boys at night while she attended school. Then when she graduated I went to the vocational school to become a LPN.

As time went on my daughter had married and had four children in that marriage, seven children in all.  She decided to go back to get her degree in nursing and she did. She graduated from the RN nursing program at 30 years old in 1996 which was encouraging to me, so I decided that I wanted to go back to school to get my degree in nursing but that never happen because my daughter was shot one month after she graduated from nursing school, never having the chance to sit for her state board.

Therefore, I had to raise her seven children and I knew going back to school was out of the question. Not only that one year and a half later another daughter became very ill and died, leaving me three small children, in all there were 10 children to nurture. All my desires were crushed for many years. As time went on the children started graduating from high school from 2002 until 2010. One year I had two to graduate the same year. After graduation the children went their separate ways.. This was the time for me to pursue my heart desires. I never gave up hope.

My heart desire was to further my education as a registered nurse.  In 2009 I registered for school (college) and had to take a placement test. I had to remediate in reading and math. My professors took up special time with me by encourage me to stay in school because she knew I can do it. The first semester in reading I made an A and my professor encourage me to go back and retake the reading placement test which she signed all papers that were needed for me to retake the test. I passed and did not have to go to the next step in re-mediation for reading. I was place in preparatory English the next semester then English 1101following that semester.

However, I had to remediate math starting with basic math which I passed the exit exam with a C. Then I register for Elementary Algebra and fail with a D. I had to retake the class but never was discourage because I knew I could pass that class and made an A on the exit exam. Intermediate Algebra I made a B. College Algebra I made an A. I did very well with the other prerequisites I needed to apply for the nursing program. I made the president list one semester which really inspired me to be encouraged. I am currently taking chemistry and have one more class which is micro and I am done with all my prerequisites. It took me from 2009 until 2013 to remediate and get all my prerequisites. This year I can apply for the nursing program. I never gave up hope because I knew what I wanted and how I wanted to do it.

When I was told about this program PERRLA it was a blessing to me.  It’s a must that every college student have this program. I tell everyone I come in contact with about this program. I don’t know how I did without PERRLA as long as I did from the start of college. I am 62 years old now and I am excited that I am ready to apply for the program.  Never let go of hope and never give up on your heart desires, because inch by inch anything’s a cinch.

Patti K.

We had a guest speaker and I did not want to interfere in the presentation by going over to my instructor to ask for permission to leave. Other students knew I wasn't feeling well. More students left after me before the class was over.

My instructor felt that this was disrespectful to the speaker and passed around the attendance sheet again and those that were not present at the end were given an unexcused absence including me. My friend tried to call me to tell me to come back to sign the attendance sheet but she could not reach me. I probably was to far away anyway.

I e-mailed the instructor that I was ill and I did not want to disrupt the class.  I even offered a note from the physician since I really was sick and called out of work the next day, went to the doctor and got a note for work. She still counted me unexcused absence because I did not ask her if I could leave.  I am not in grade school. This is a master's program. Since she is the director of the program, what could I do?

I was there the majority of the class and still received no credit for being there. I drove two hours there, stayed 3 1/2 hours, drove home ill 2 hours and received no credit. I had to call into work sick the next day. If I did not go to class, maybe I wouldn't have to miss time at work the next day. I could have rested, but I made the effort to go to class.

I felt this was very unfair. However I could not find a policy on leaving class early. I felt you are an adult. If you are sick, and stay for the majority of the class you can leave.

Thank you for allowing me to tell my story. I will inform the CEO of this occurrence during an exit interview.

Also at the school I attend, none of the instructors communicate with each other. Each have their own views, and ways of doing things. I try to get everything in writing like e-mails.


Teresa H.

I really love you guys, believe me when I say that. I have been a nurse for 35 years and decided 2 years ago to go back to school for my BS. It's true that ignorance is bliss. Had I have known how difficult this was going to be at the beginning, I may have changed my mind. I had virtually no computer skills and less at paper writing. I didn't know a thing about APA or MLA.

One of my classmates referred me to this site. Heaven!!!!! This site lessened the pain of paper writing. It was hard enough for me to do the research and compile a somewhat intelligent paper without having to worry about formatting it too. You took that part of my worry away. Bless your heart.

So for the last 3 years and countless papers,  you have made my life so much easier. I graduated this January with a bachelor's degree in nursing at the age of 55. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Sharon C.

My story is simple, after 28 years in nursing they want us to go back to college.  Didn't have a clue what APA meant.  Then a coworker told me about your program, I love it!!!  Since I starting in September, I have told at least five other classmates who were as clueless as me. Plus my niece who is now working on her masters.  LOL.  Got an A in my 1st class back.


Jeanette S.

I am a single mother of three children.  I have a daughter who is fourteen and two boys who are five and six.  I am a CNA and I have seen much go on in the healthcare industry that I don't agree with. I decided to get my MBA in  Healthcare so I would have more credibility.  When I started, my youngest was in pre-k and only attended school three hours a day.

Now all my kids go to school full time.  You may think things are much easier, but I have a list of chronic illnesses.  This leads me to my other purposes for continuing my college education.  First of all, I want my children to know that no matter what they are going through in life, you can accomplish your goals.  Also I want other disabled people to believe that no matter what their goals were before they were labelled as disabled, they can still make their dreams come true.

It may take longer or it may have to be accomplished in a more creative way, but it can be done.  I am proof for single moms, chronically ill and the disabled can reach their dreams.