It was 10 years ago that I completed my ATA degree in accounting from Centralia College. One thing I know is that I will never forget my experience.
I did not attend college right after I graduated from high school. No, I would be 30 years old before I had my college experience, and I walked through the doors of Centralia College to attend my first class. It was a math class, and I remember feeling very nervous especially as I brushed the dust off my math skills. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom. My two children were in elementary school. It was the right season in my life to try and go to college.
My goal was to complete a two-year degree in accounting. I felt I would enjoy accounting and so I went for it. Was it challenging? Yes! But, as I progressed through the program, I saw myself excel and gain confidence that I was achieving my goal. When it got hard, I would tell myself that I had to keep going. If I didn’t, I would never see my name on that degree.
During my first year of college, I financed my education through the family budget. When I began thinking about my second year, I decided to apply for a scholarship through the Centralia College Foundation. Earning a scholarship would help greatly with respect to our family’s budget as my husband and I were committed to me being home and available for our young children.
After applying, I was awarded the PCLI Endowed Scholarship through the Foundation. Earning this scholarship was a blessing as it eased the financial burden of tuition. Not to mention that one’s hard work and dedication would be recognized by others who were willing to invest in your education and success. For that, I know, I will always be thankful.
Fast forward 10 years, and I have put my accounting degree to good use. After I graduated from Centralia College, I was hired by Possibilities Women’s Center (a non-profit organization seeking to help women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy) as their bookkeeper. This opportunity I received at Possibilities has blessed my life in more ways than one. After graduating, I knew that I wanted to be able to keep my family a priority by working part-time. The opportunity to work for Possibilities provided just that as well as the ability to utilize my talent as a bookkeeper in maintaining the integrity and financial health of the organization. Without a doubt, I have enjoyed my years at Possibilities Women’s Center.
Before I close, I would also like to say that not only have I reaped the benefits provided to me through Centralia College. I have now had the amazing privilege of seeing my two children reap the benefits as well.
In June 2019, my daughter graduated from Centralia College earning her associates in business. She began her college career by earning an athletic scholarship as well as an academic scholarship from Centralia College. It was a joy to watch her these last two years take the court as a Lady Blazer Volleyball player.
My son took advantage of running start his last two years of high school. He then applied to the bachelor’s program for teacher education. He too has earned scholarships through the foundation (as well as outside) that has helped him finance his education. He is set to graduate from the program in June 2020.
It is hard for me to put into words what these opportunities have meant to me and to my family. When a donor gives of his or her resources, I believe they are giving far more than monetary value. They are investing in a life. That investment can change a person’s life and open doors to many opportunities. As a parent, I cannot express enough the peace and joy I have watching my children step into their futures without the burden of financial debt from funding their education. I know this would not be possible without the generosity of those who give.
To all the donors, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you, and how very grateful to you I will always be."