Student Spotlight – Kellie Sanchez

At Lamar Community College (LCC), we believe it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing adult learners with the resources and support they need to succeed. We’re proud to serve adult learners from all walks of life. Whether you’re a parent looking to advance in your career, a retiree seeking new skills and knowledge, or anyone in between, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.

We know that returning to school can be daunting, especially for those who have been out of the classroom for a while. But at LCC, we provide the resources and support you need to succeed, regardless of your educational journey.

Don’t just take our word for it; take, for example, Kellie Sanchez. Kellie was a student at LCC who, like many adult learners, faced personal challenges that made returning to school seem impossible.

Prior to deciding to return to school, Kellie worked as a dental assistant. She loved that job but ultimately decided to pursue other opportunities due to the physical strain on her hands and back, as well as her evolving personal needs. Most recently, Kellie was presented with the opportunity to contribute to a statewide program through a local healthcare service provider.

Through this program, Kellie assists with in-home visits to support parent-child interactions, home safety, and child health. However, this position came with one caveat. In order to become a supervisor within the program, Kellie needed an associate’s degree. After meeting with the human resources representative at her job, an agreement was reached that would allow Kellie to work for the program while simultaneously earning her associate’s degree.

The thought of enrolling in college was intimidating. Kellie had a laundry list of reasons not to pursue a degree: she would be the first in her family to attend college, she hadn’t been a student since 2008 and was afraid to write papers again, she worked full time, and she was busy raising her two young children. Despite it all, Kellie was determined to make a better life for her family and herself. She knew education was the key to achieving her personal and professional ambitions. So, she decided to embrace the support from her coworkers and loved ones and take a leap of faith.

Kellie enrolled in an Associate of Science degree program at Lamar Community College, and the rest snowballed from there. She took advantage of the many resources available at the College, allowing her to stay on track and achieve her goals. She recalls feeling as though she had completed the admissions application and the staff at LCC had taken care of everything else for her. Kellie credits Jeanette in the MAP Center for guiding her along her educational path, Dora in the financial aid department for helping her obtain scholarships that paid for daycare for her children and lending her a laptop to use in all of her classes, and Jennifer in the library for connecting her with the resources she uses to complete assignments.

All of her efforts have paid off. Kellie graduated in May with her Associate of Science degree. Following graduation, Kellie continues to her work with the same employer, and is on her way to a supervisory position. She also intends to continue her education and earn a bachelor’s degree, although she is still determining what area of study she’d like to pursue. While she’s still deliberating on the focus of her next degree, she knows that her time at LCC has helped her discover a new liking for history and business.

Kellie thrived during her time at LCC. Not only did she graduate in May, but she was also inducted into LCC’s Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, named to the President’s List after achieving a 4.0-grade point average, and secured the highest academic distinction of Summa Cum Laude. Kellie says that she never expected to reach these feats. She feels a great sense of pride in her accomplishments and believes that all of her hard work has been validated.

She advises anyone considering returning to school: “Just do it. Take it one step at a time, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, ask. I work 40 hours a week, am a single mom, and go to school full time; if I can do it, so can you.”

Thanks to her hard work and the College team’s support, Kellie has graduated with her degree and achieved a significant goal. LCC is proud to serve students like Kellie. It is our mission to enrich the lives of others through learning. If you’re an adult learner who’s been thinking about going back to school, we encourage you to explore the many career pathways, resources, funding support, and professional opportunities available at Lamar Community College. We’re here to help you overcome any obstacles that may stand in your way and unlock new possibilities for your future.

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