I am so thankful for the wonderful experience that Motlow provided me while earning my associate degree. I gained confidence through being a successful student, and I matured socially due to my interactions with students, faculty, and staff.
In the fall of 1986, I was a young single mother, very insecure and uncertain about the future. Fortunately for me, and others throughout Warren County and beyond, Motlow was offering a brand new opportunity; for-credit classes in McMinnville. With childcare support from my family and the flexibility to work class schedules around my job, I decided to give college a chance.
When Motlow first began offering classes in McMinnville, the current facility had not been built. Courses were taught at the McMinnville Civic Center, where Motlow was allotted a few classrooms and an office. The student population was small in the beginning, allowing faculty and staff to spend one-on-one time with students. They provided invaluable inspiration and guidance, leading me to graduation with an Associate Degree in Business Administration in 1989.
My most cherished memories of Motlow involve the close-knit relationships and social network I developed during my time as a student. We didn’t have a student lounge or gathering place back then, so a small group of us would congregate in the lobby of the Civic Center. We formed study groups and created a network of like-minded students. The friends I made then are still some of my closest friends.
My degree from Motlow opened the door for me to earn an entry-level position as an Engineering Administrative Assistant with a large corporation that offered a company-sponsored employee education program. That program allowed me to continue my education, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree from Tennessee Tech University.
The warm and friendly atmosphere at Motlow helped give me academic focus, something I never had in high school. With that success came the confidence to develop the leadership skills that I use now every day in my career as a Manufacturing Manager for Hughes Parker Industries in Manchester.
I’m convinced that as a young single mother in 1986, I would not have completed my education without the opportunities that Motlow provided me. My journey helped me to be more engaged at work, be a better team player, and gave me the incentive to set and reach personal goals. Motlow also motivated me to get involved in my community and become a leader.
That motivation inspired me to join Leadership McMinnville and Leadership Warren County, where I served as president in 2009. I am also involved in the City of McMinnville July 4 parade, Relay for Life, the annual Christmas parade, and the Autumn Street Fair. I’m forever grateful to Motlow for offering classes in McMinnville and helping shape my future.