Williamsburg Technical College
"Tech gave me an opportunity to bring out something inside of me that I didn't even know I had."
I’m from a little town where you have to struggle to get what you want. When I first heard about Williamsburg Technical College people around me were skeptical. They’d say things like, “Who wants to go there?” They focused on all the things they thought I’d miss out on: the party experience, sororities, the four-year university stuff. This is the story of how I overcame the misperceptions of those around me and forged a path that worked for me.
When I started to hear all the doubts from people around me, I questioned whether I actually wanted to go to Williamsburg Tech. I considered four-year universities, but knew finances would be important. My mom didn’t have the money to pay for my schooling. The scholarships I had would cover tuition at Williamsburg, so even though other students around me were skeptical, I decided to take the risk and just do it.
I am so glad I took that chance because it gave me an opportunity to finally open up to people after being bullied throughout high school. Williamsburg has made me feel comfortable and prepared. When I go to a four-year school someday, I will have the skills I need to succeed.
My grades have improved at Williamsburg Technical College, and I have been invited to join the honor society. So many scholarships were available to me at technical college, and I am so grateful for that.
I did two years of school at WTC and received my Associate’s Degree. In the next two years I plan to take my education even further.
What have you defied or overcome in your life?
I have always battled with myself — from depression to giving up too easily. When an obstacle comes up, I start beating myself up and thinking, “I can’t do it. Just forget about this and just give up. Drop out.” Along the way, I’ve learned to keep going because there will always be more obstacles coming in life. If I fail, that is an opportunity to do better next time.
That was my experience at Williamsburg Technical College. The classes were hard. I cried when I failed one of my first tests. At that time, I was spending too much time with friends instead of focusing on my studies. I didn’t even care about tech my freshman year. After I got that first test back and realized I failed, I knew that something had to change.
The first thing I had to cut back on was spending so much time hanging out with my friends. They didn’t always understand, but I was trying to prove myself to my family and friends who had said I’d never make it. I even had teachers tell me I wouldn’t make it to college. That was so hurtful. By believing what people said, I was letting myself down.
I had a Biology teacher whose class was so hard. Despite studying, I still got poor grades on his tests. I started wondering if I should just drop out and what I would need to do to pass his class. I was worried that if I failed I would lose my grant and scholarship. Then I remembered what the technical college reps said when they visited us in high school. “Get connected with your teachers. They will look out for you. They will see what they can do to help you.”
I went back to my Biology teacher to talk about what was going on. I told him, “I think I might fail your class but I’m studying and I’m doing the work.”
He told me, “You have to believe in yourself. You have to push yourself more. I see you doing the work, but I want more from you and I know you can do it.” The last thing he told me during that conversation was, “You’re going to pass my class.”
He was right. I got a B on my final exam.
Tech taught me not to give up on myself, even when the work is hard. If you need to cut back on something in life, do it — even if it’s something you enjoy. If you want it bad enough, don’t stop studying. Keep going. Elevate your mind. Keep pumping yourself up and showing yourself that you can do it. Even though some people may not believe that you can do it, prove them wrong. But most importantly, if you’re doubting yourself — prove yourself wrong.
What inspired you to keep on going?
My mom wanted to go to college, but she never finished high school. She really wanted to go back to school and she really wanted to get her degree, but because she had me and my brother she wasn’t able to. She worried about me because everybody was saying I wouldn’t make it.
I wanted to prove them wrong, not only for myself, but also for my mom. I wanted to prove even though people were looking at us like we weren’t going to make it, they were wrong. Tech gave me an opportunity to bring out something inside of me that I didn’t even know I had.
What advice do you have for high school students considering their future?
Williamsburg Technical College motivated me to find out what was inside of me and push forward. Now I’m doing that on my own. I push myself a little bit harder to get what I really want. So consider technical college! They are affordable. They prepare you for a four-year college if that’s your goal. Our classes are smaller. When everyone is thinking about partying, technical college is preparing your mind. Technical college helps build up your confidence.