A New Direction for the Future: Students return to college for a second career

The economy recession hit hard for some, but these Cape Fear Community College students decided when they were handed lemons, they would make lemonade.

Betty Rogers and Stephanie Webster are two ladies who had a second chance at college, a chance to change their career path, and took it.

Betty Rogers

Betty Rogers and her husband retired and decided to move to the beach in May of 2008. Betty however, could not break the fact that she knew she wanted to go back to school and at age 51, she did. CFCC’s program diversity is what drove her to choose CFCC. It was the Surgical Technology Program where Betty found her place at CFCC. After meeting with Denise Gautsch and seeing her contagious enthusiasm, she knew this program was right for her and her future. Betty was devastated when she was not originally being accepted, but she didn’t want to give up because the level of interest clearly made it that much more appealing. A spot thankfully opened up, and Betty will be graduating this May, the first graduating class for the Surgical Technology Program. “I have had the privilege of having as my classmates some of the brightest, most unique people I could ever hope to meet. We may go our separate ways after graduation but there will always be a bond between us because together we were the first graduating class,” Betty stated. An experience that during the first year, Betty describe as a bit intense because of the workload, ended up being the most rewarding two years of learning. After graduation, Betty hopes to work at local hospital in the Operating Room because it allows for new possibilities and challenges every day. “Knowing that my degree will give me a job where I get a sense of satisfaction knowing I helped improve someone’s health is rewarding in itself.”

Stephanie Webster and her husband were both laid off around the same time and the opportunity presented itself when they were able to go to school through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) after the plant they worked at closed. Stephanie and her husband both decided to attend CFCC.

Stephanie Webster

Stephanie Webster

Stephanie loves working with children and hopes to go into pediatric play therapy one day. The CFCC Early Childhood Education Program (ECE) was the perfect fit. The professors in the EUE have shown such passion and enthusiasm for the program. Stephanie reveled, “I have attended other community colleges as well as a university and the amount of support and encouragement they give you goes above and beyond.” Her experiences at CFCC have aided in her decision to look into Occupational Therapy Assistant, another associate degree at CFCC. After graduation however, Stephanie feels the upmost confidence in finding a career because she is well-prepared and has the support of the professors who have taught her.

Both Stephanie and Betty have felt experiences they will take away from CFCC will help impact them in their future careers as well as life.

Written by Jordan Streetman