any students at Olympic College Shelton have already been to school – the School of Hard Knocks. Take Nicole for example, a 38-year-old single mom who is working toward certification as a Chemical Dependency Professional.
“My life was a mess for a really, really long time,” she said. “I’m a first-generation college student. My parents were both drug addicts. It seemed like I really didn’t have a chance from the gate.”
Nicole continued the cycle of despair, becoming a drug addict herself until she got clean in 2008. Along the way, she survived beatings that affected her balance and vision. She was also homeless for a decade and battled long-term, drug-induced psychosis.
Taking classes at OC Shelton has helped Nicole rewrite her story. She’s developed a sense of social justice. And earning a 3.96 GPA has helped repair her fragile self-esteem. She’s on track to graduate from OC this winter and has been accepted at Central Washington University, where she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social services. The mother of an 8-year-old son with autism, she hopes to become an advocate for others with disabilities.
“Trauma and drug abuse stunts your growth,” she said. “I’m finally coming into my own.”
A $1,600 scholarship from the Olympic College Foundation has been instrumental in Nicole’s success. She’s also turned to Shelton’s supply closet and student food bank to get through tough times.
With your support through Give Local by midnight Thursday, November 21, we can help more OC Shelton students like Nicole achieve their educational dreams, support their families and give back to the community.
Our goal is to raise $5,000 to support emergency needs for OC Shelton students during Give Local, which is hosted by the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound. When you donate by November 21, your gift goes further. All credit card fees are covered by generous donors and OC Shelton will get a proportional share of a $100,000 bonus fund.
Here are some ways your gift helps:
- Placement Test, $20 –Placement testing ensures that students begin their college journey in the right math and English classes. Your gift helps a student start strong.
- GED Test, $30 – OC Shelton’s Basic Studies program can help students who dropped out of high school get back on track with a GED. Your gift helps a student take the first step toward higher education or a living wage job.
- Equip a Nursing Assistant, $315 – Your gift equips a student with books, scrubs, a stethoscope and other necessities for the nursing assistant program.