Thank you to the Dallas Community Colleges for sponsoring this conversation. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
Growing up on the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada, education was always a priority for me and my family. My Mother always told my sisters and I that, “I may not be able to give you a lot of material things, but I can give an education and a chance to make a better life for yourself.”
My father also often reminded us that, “people can take away a lot of things from you, but they can’t take what you know.”
When I was a little girl, I can’t honestly say that I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up nor did I dream about the University I would attend. All I knew was that I had to take my education seriously, but I had no idea where it would take me.
Nineteen years ago this month, I graduated from Community College in Grenada. As you can probably tell from the huge grin on my face I was super excited. I was excited that I had completed “college” as we referred to it, and that I could finally get a job to help out my family, and of course, buy all the shoes I wanted. 🙂
At the time, Community College was the highest tertiary level education available on the island. The truth is, it was only after I started working and I learned about affordable opportunities to study in the US, that I actively started planning and saving to attend University. Prior to that, I just knew it was expensive and I couldn’t afford it at the time, so my focus was mainly on working and helping my family.
My decision to attend Community College turned out to be one of the best decisions I had made. Not only was I able to get a job afterward and save some funds, I was also able to transfer more than half of my credits towards my University education in Texas. This was also very cost-effective because I earned my Bachelors Degree in just under 2 years.
Just as I was finishing up my Undergraduate studies, the opportunity to study at the graduate level at the University of Wyoming was offered to me. It was a fairly new, intensive program that the University had launched one year prior. I received a full scholarship to earn an MSc in eBusiness. (The program has since been renamed).
Everything that I learned played a part in laying the foundation for my entrepreneurial endeavors. It’s amazing how things have literally come full circle. As a result of attending community college, not only was I was able to get a job and save a bit for college, but because I had completed my Undergraduate studies in a shorter time frame, and I was right on time to take advantage of the opportunity to basically study most of what I do today, eBusiness.
Although I have a Masters degree, I have actually considered enrolling in some of the certificate courses offered at the Dallas County Community College District. I am of the firm belief that you should never stop learning, honing your craft or increasing your level of expertise. The bottom line is that I love to learn.
I also love that the DCCD offers programs that are perfect for persons who might be currently in the workplace and are looking to grow their skills to get a promotion or a new job. There are over 15 program areas (with over 100 programs) to choose from including Project Management, Mobile App Development, and eCommerce. They also have an entire Small Business Academy for those interested in starting their own business. I know from experience that Community College can provide the knowledge, skills and higher education that actually gets you hired. When I have kids of my own, I won’t hesitate to consider community college as a cost-effective option, if that’s the path they decide to choose.
YOUR TURN: Has your education help to shape your current career path in any way?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dallas County Community College District. The opinions and text are all mine.