I’m thankful for the guidance and support from a tremendous group of professors and staff members on the Motlow McMinnville campus, led by Mr. Ivan Jones, who was the director. Because of their professionalism and patience, I achieved my goal of earning my first college degree.
I lost my father when I was 16 years old, and in my mind, my hopes of a college degree were also gone. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, and I didn’t believe I could ever attend college. Fortunately, I was surrounded by a determined group of people who saw my potential and my determination to continue my education.
Ivan Jones, who also happened to be my high school Sunday School teacher, has been a tremendous influence on my life. Back then, he knew that I wanted to go to college. He met with me one day and told me he would help me get enrolled at Motlow, and he did. He was such a great mentor, so compassionate. To this day, I still can count on my good friend Ivan.
Another thing I could always count on was support from my Motlow instructors, who I remember fondly: Jean Williams, psychology; Annette Hale, English; Col. Thomas Vaughn for history and public speaking; and the late Kate Lapzchynski, chemistry. I particularly enjoyed taking part in the drama and musical productions that we put on for the community and area schoolchildren.
My financial situation was difficult at the time I left high school, and like many students, higher education could easily have slipped away from my grasp. Motlow allowed me to remain close to my family and home during a challenging and painful period in my life. Motlow kept my dream alive!
To help with my finances, I utilized work-study at the College, and also had jobs as a disc jockey for local radio stations. I enjoyed the radio work, not only because it enabled me to make it financially, but it also related to my studies in communications. I chose this degree as I enjoy public speaking and being an effective communicator.
With the quality associate degree I earned from Motlow, I began my career. My mass communications degree gave me the confidence I needed to communicate effectively and clearly. Those skills still benefit me today as a Vice-President with Citizens Tri-County Bank in McMinnville.
I am very proud to live and work in my hometown of McMinnville, and I am very proud of how much Motlow means to Warren County and the surrounding communities. Motlow has changed a lot of lives, including mine.
Motlow planted a seed in me for learning that never diminished. It was a critical springboard to my post-secondary education. Since leaving, I have earned a bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Relations and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. Although I did the work, I credit Motlow for instilling in me the drive to want to learn. I am forever grateful to Motlow and my professors for believing in me and for the opportunity always to be a Motlow alumni.