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CFCC Graduate Defeats Doubt and Hurricane to Earn Degree

Lauren Mcmahon

“Five minutes of effort towards a goal I had for myself changed my life,” said Lauren McMahon, soon-to-be CFCC graduate. To McMahon—mom, wife and full-time worker—the idea of completing her associate’s degree seemed like a distant dream. 

Despite McMahon’s doubts (and in a short leap of faith), she signed up for summer classes. Little did she know the fall semester would require more of that faith. That fall, she, her husband, son, and three dogs were displaced for six weeks after Hurricane Florence—making do in a small hotel room until their insurance funds exhausted. And, as if it were perfectly timed, a work crew through their church repaired their home from severely damaged to livable in enough time for them to move back home without using other funds. 

During this time, McMahon faced negative thoughts like “you aren’t good enough” and “you won’t ever finish.” However, with understanding and encouraging words from her ACA 122 (college-transfer preparedness) instructor, she developed the strength to continue in pursuit of her goal.

“Here I am getting ready to walk across this stage, one I thought I’d never see.” McMahon will graduate from Cape Fear Community College this summer and start at UNCW in the fall to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education. 

To those reading, Lauren says, “Don’t sell yourself short and put just five minutes of effort in today. It will change your life.”

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