I am not your typical student. “Non-traditional” is the term most often used to describe my academic experience. What do I mean by non-traditional, you ask? Well, for starters, I am a 37 year-old single mother of two small children who, up until August of last year, had never touched a welding torch. I had followed the traditional route of college after high school. I flitted from job to job. Never finding that right fit, never seeming to find contentment or fitting in the workplace. So, I nestled myself into motherhood, and I took to raising my babies and enjoyed every single moment of it. Then, as life so often does, it all changed.
Suddenly a single mom, I was forced to find a new path. But what? That’s when I made an appointment with an ECC advisor. He pointed me in the direction of the ICAPS program and it just took off from there. I stepped into that lab not knowing anything about welding or what I was getting myself into. Today, only two short semesters later, I am graduating as a qualified welder.
The faculty and staff here are beyond phenomenal. Because of their instruction and guidance, I am doing things I never dreamed possible. I am creating. I am using science and math. I am learning something new every single day. I have even made the decision to stay on as a student and pursue my associate degree, because ECC has shown me the sky is the limit if you’re willing to put in the work.
Now, I look forward to waking up early to come to school. I look forward to learning and growing as a student, employee, mom, friend, and person. Because of ECC and their faculty, I have found a confidence in myself and my abilities that I never knew was possible. ECC has given me direction, a sense of purpose, and hope for not only my future, but for the future I will be able to provide for my children.
Thank you, Marc Hucek, David Reich, Ellen Herbert, Al Collins, Scott Fohrman, and Andrea Kuzniar for believing in me. Thank you, ECC, for giving me a new sense of self-worth and accomplishment. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
Andrea Haas ‘19
Basic Vocational Certificate