Her mother scraped together coins so she could play the clarinet as she grew up. From there, Tierney Sharpe Dioffo taught herself to play piano.
She became a talented classical pianist, playing and winning a national competition.
“My mom wanted me to go to school for music, but that’s not what I wanted to do,” said Sharpe Dioffo.
Life happened. She was married, had two children, and years later, now 30-year-old Sharpe Dioffo decided to get her business degree.
She transferred from Ivy Tech to the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, and she says she was immediately blown away by the amount of support she received.
“My first classes at Kelley, all my teachers were like, ‘Let me know if you need anything.’ They asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and ‘how can I help you.’ I was overwhelmed!” said Sharpe Dioffo. “They still check in to see how I’m doing. They’re really interested in helping me with my résumé, writing letters of recommendation. They’re really there to help you.”
Through it all, Sharpe Dioffo says, her mom was there for her.
“These past few years, she’s been my biggest support, when she saw I was doing something I really wanted to do,” said Sharpe Dioffo. “Before we found out her cancer had won, she already had my graduation date in her calendar.”
Sharpe Dioffo’s mother passed away last semester. She says it’s the support from her peers and professors at Kelley that helped her through.
“Everyone was helping me to make sure I was making it through the semester. I love it. It’s my alma mater,” said Sharpe Dioffo.
Sharpe Dioffo graduates from the Kelley this year with majors in management and human resource management. She graduates with a degree from SPEA in August. After that, she plans to attend law school.
“This is really for her [her mother]. She never got to finish college,” she said. “I really feel by getting two degrees, one’s for her.”