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Citizen Column: Success Center: HCC program helps folks get life back on track

The Gleaner

By SUSAN JEWELL

In 2008, the economy took a downward slide that forced many people to lose their jobs and incomes for their families. We as individuals must now take a different approach to get back on track in the productive world. The Success Center at Henderson Community College offers many free services to guide you in the right direction.

I lost my job Oct. 1, 2009. I have never been unemployed. I'm 54 years old, and I've been out of high school for 36 years. In January of this year, I lost my husband. I was totally devastated and depressed. I lost all confidence and self worth. I was worried about money coming in and how I was going to support myself. The fear and anxiety sucked up my well-being.

After a few months, I knew I had to make some proactive choices and take charge of my life. I needed to get back into the public -- to be around people. I took a positive approach along with a positive attitude to learn how to succeed in life. I took the initiative and took my first step and called the Success Center.

The Success Center has many services for individuals who are unemployed, want to earn a GED or brush up on basic skills. One of the services provided is the Adult Learning Center. The administrative assistant is Pam Buchanan with Cary Conley as math teacher, Ruthie Grisham as English teacher and Connie Phillips as reading teacher. They have two instructional assistants, Martha Ward and Kathy Fleeger.

The Success Center also houses the GRADD program, vocational rehabilitation, veterans academic services, academic advising, tutoring and career services. Please, take that first step and call this number 831-9648. The Adult Learning Center is there to teach and help you get on the right path -- to help you succeed.

The abovementioned names helped me. I got my confidence back and felt ready to apply to the GRADD Workforce Investment Act program. This program is for dislocated workers who may qualify for financing for college. The help of Leanne Mabrey, Karen Raber and Joanie Spaulding will get you through the steps of filling out the application. The GRADD number is 826-0427. I have a personal GRADD counselor, Kim Shannon, while I attend college. I started college last month at Daymar College in Owensboro for medical billing and coding.

The word "adversity" as defined in the Webster dictionary means "a state of hardship, misfortune and a calamitous event." I believe that I experienced the definition of adversity to the fullest extent. I've taken charge of my life. That's why I want others to know about the Success Center and how they can also get help. With the help of God, family and friends, I am making my destiny for the future.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer is a Henderson County resident.

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