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At the age of 16, Sandra Thomas started classes at SCC. She took advantage of the college’s dual enrollment program before becoming a full-time student a year later.
“The main reason I chose to come to SCC – and even have a desire for higher education – was my mother,” she said. “She began her journey as a returning learner at SCC. It was affordable, close to to our house, and she found it to be, well, just outstanding!”
Paying for higher education was not easy for her mom. “My parents are hardworking people. In my home, my father is the sole breadwinner. Expenses accumulate when you provide for seven people – they add up even more when you homeschool.”
“My mom found part-time employment to cover the costs. It was flexible enough to allow her to continue to homeschool my brothers and me. She got up around 4:30 a.m. each morning, so she could be home by 9 a.m. to start teaching,” Sandra said. “She did that for four straight years.”
Her mother’s positive experience and the value of community college made choosing SCC a no brainer for Sandra. “I pay for my own college education,” she said. “Originally, my grandmother provided the funding for my education, but after suffering a stroke and her recent diagnosis of vascular dementia, she is financially unable to assist me with my college anymore.”
Unsure of her career path, Sandra started with general education courses. It was one of her professors who encouraged her to pursue cyber security. “Because of him, I wasn’t afraid to go into a male-dominated field.”
During her time at SCC, she became involved in the Honors Program. “I love this college – the activities, the professors, the programs and the opportunities. I hope people know and see how great this community college is and realize that SCC gives people who do not think they have the chance or opportunity to better themselves a chance to do so,” she said.
She plans to continue her education at Lindenwood University after graduating from SCC.
“My life has been forever changed by this college,” she said. “Because of my experience, I’d love to one day retire early and come back to teach as a college professor.”