Briana Noell

Florence-Darlington Technical College

"I'm excited for stability. It keeps me motivated knowing that I will soon be able to start my career, my life and my family."

My name is Briana Noell. I am 20 years old and currently studying health information management. I chose technical college because I wanted to start off small and work my way up. I knew that at a technical college I could get a degree quickly and then further my education at a four-year university or continue working on it at another technical school. 

I never really planned on going to a technical college, and always thought I would end up at a four-year university. I did well in high school, graduating with a 4.1 GPA. I took honors classes. I even took a couple of college courses in high school to try and get my GPA up and prepare for a four-year university. When the time came, however, I decided that I’d rather start with a two-year program to get my foot in the door and decide on my field of study before transferring to a four-year school. 


What stigmas do you think people have about technical college? What would you like to tell them? 

I went to Wilson in South Carolina. People always say that Wilson is a bad high school, but to me it wasn’t. I wasn’t really worried about what people were saying about technical colleges because I wanted to decide for myself rather than basing my decision off someone else’s opinion. I like technical college because it offers smaller classrooms and I can go to a teacher if I need help. The environment here is very welcoming.


How did your family feel about your decision? 

My mom was happy that I was going to college because it’s something that she wanted to do, but wasn’t able to once she started having kids. She didn’t push me to make a decision, though. She wanted what was best for me based on what I decided was best for me.


What have you had to overcome on your journey? 

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always moved around. Florence is the only place that I’ve been for a consistent amount of time. Things in my household were never good between my mom and her husband. I’ve had to overcome all that and continued to earn good grades despite growing up in a low-income household. 


What have you learned about yourself along the way? 

That I don’t give up. Even when COVID came up, I continued to move forward with online classes. I’ve really shown myself that I can continue pushing, regardless of the circumstances. I find a way. 


What has been the most exciting part about achieving your goals

The most exciting part is finally having stability. It keeps me motivated knowing that I will soon be able to start my career, my life and my family. 


What advice do you have for others on their journey? 

Go for it, even if you don’t feel totally ready for college quite yet. It doesn’t hurt to go and work on earning some credits. You don’t have to go to college to have a career, but an education absolutely helps when you’re out in the workforce looking for a job.