What's Your Story: Victoria College made getting education possible
BY JESSICA DiSILVESTRO YOUNG
June 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
It was my senior year of high school when all the college talk began to fill the halls of the school. Many seniors had plans to go off to these really cool universities, some planned to stay at a community college, and a few wanted to go straight to work after graduation. At this point, I was not really sure where I stood. I come from a single-parent household where my mother was raising my little brother and me, and money was always paycheck-to-paycheck for us. Therefore, I knew going away to the cool university was out of the question, although I would have loved to. But I really did want to continue my education and make something of myself, so I decided to look into Victoria College. From the very beginning, Victoria College has changed my life by not letting my financial situation get in the way of going to school, by furthering my education and by providing me with the nursing school that I am currently in now.
Like I said before, I come from a pretty low-income household. My mother has always done the best she can for us, and we never went without the necessities of life; however, we just never had extra money to put aside and save. This caused some stress when thinking of how I would be able to go to college with no money saved to pay for it. When I went to the financial aid office, staffers were not only friendly, but they helped me get started right from the time I walked in the door. An adviser helped me with my Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA) and applying for grants, since my mother didn't make much money. I wasn't aware of all the help out there and was so excited to learn about it. After getting all set up with financial aid, I was then able to sign up for classes. Victoria College didn't let my money struggle get in the way of being able to attend the campus.
My first semester, I signed up for basic, core classes that I could use toward any major. I really didn't know if I would be able to go to college, so I had not really picked a major yet. Since most majors require the basic classes, that is what I started my education with. I was diagnosed in high school with a learning disability called dyslexia and also told I had Irlen syndrome. This created a pretty big barrier when trying to learn and study the same way other students did. I went to the disability counselor at the college to discuss this with him, and he printed me some notes to take to my teachers that allowed me some special privileges that help overcome the learning disability. The teachers were then extremely kind and helpful. They showed me compassion and never made me feel any less than the other students. This allowed me to further my education and learn in ways that helped me be successful in school.
Once I had taken a couple semesters of basic classes, I decided I had a passion for the medical field and helping people. Victoria College offers an associate degree in nursing, which was perfect for what I had decided I wanted to go to school for. The college made it really easy to get me into the classes I needed before applying into the program. Once I had completed them, I met with the ADN secretary and got to the business of the application process. If it wasn't for this program being here, I wouldn't be able to choose this field of study.
Victoria College has changed my life by getting me where I am today as a nursing student. It helped me overcome my financial barriers, furthered my education and allowed me to begin nursing school. If it were not for Victoria College, I might not have been able to go to school or to make a career. Thank you, Victoria College, for all you have done for me.
Jessica DiSilvestro Young lives in Victoria and is studying to become a nurse.