When Andrea Stump first graduated high school from Wabaco Christian Academy, she wanted to stay close to home to pursue her college education. She was able to attend her first semester making wonderful grades, even making the Dean’s List. The following semester, she started a part time job and allowed that distraction to knock her out of chasing a college degree. A couple years later, she attempted to enroll as a college student again but as a wife and mother, trying to manage everything was too much and overwhelming. As a result, it ended in classes that were incomplete.
In March of 2020, she remarried and with her husband’s encouragement, she decided she would enroll again as an HCTC student but that this time she would see her educational goal through. She took summer classes in 2020, while running her business, being a new wife, a mother to three, as well as a stepmother to three. At the end of that semester, she was stunned to see that all her hard work had paid off. She had made all A’s, with a perfect 4.0 GPA for that semester.
“My children and stepchildren cheered me on and the excitement, joy, and pride that I saw in their eyes were enough for me to know that I can continue my education and make us all proud,” she said. She chose HCTC because of its location to her home and business. She chose to pursue her education through online courses, as this allowed her to manage time for her kids and work. “HCTC offered the classes I wanted, with the affordable cost, which was important as I was paying out of pocket, as well as the convenient location for tutoring, meetings with staff, or for the bookstore as well.”
“Hazard Community and Technical College has helped me in so many ways. It has brought back a confidence that I had lost. Through nights of studying with three kids watching their mommy do homework, the pride it has given me to show them that through hard work you can succeed, that is something invaluable to me. Getting a college degree is helping me to secure a financially sound future for myself as well as my family,” she said.
“Receiving a scholarship was such a blessing,” she noted. Because of her history of struggles with repeated college attempts, financial aid was not an option to her until she could show her efforts through grades. For her summer classes, she paid for them out of pocket. “When I enrolled for the fall 2020 semester, I never dreamed I would be eligible to receive a scholarship. I was overcome with joy. When I received the e-mail letter of acceptance, I was so excited that I called my husband, my mother, my sister, my father, told my kids–I told everyone. It was such a blessing and one that I never dreamed of deserving.”
“I cannot imagine HCTC not being a part of our community. HCTC offers so many different learning opportunities to our area that it would be devastating to our community’s future without it. If HCTC was not here, I can honestly say that I am not certain I would be able to further my education. As a working woman, mother of three, and small business owner, HCTC allows me the opportunity to further my education from the comfort of the community where I was born and raised,” Stump said.
She is working towards an Associate in Applied Science degree. She plans to become an RN, then earn a bachelor’s degree, and then pursue the Nurse Anesthetist program. “If you had told me a year ago that my goals would be set so high, I would have told you that you had me confused with another student. After the last couple semesters at HCTC, my confidence has risen and I know that with hard work, lots of studying, and determination, anything is possible!’
Stump said she would recommend HCTC to anyone. “One common statement that folks make is about how it would take them two, four, or more years. My response is simple. Time will pass anyway, you may as well be furthering your education and gaining knowledge in those years. With the options HCTC offers through in person class, online learning, or even pursuing to further education through UCM, there is no reason not to choose HCTC.”
Stump encourages others to donate for scholarships. “If you are considering donating to HCTC, then I would simply say, thank you. Thank you for giving students like myself an opportunity to chase a dream. Thank you for allowing a chance to become more than what we currently are. Thank you for believing in us and investing in us. Thank you for trusting us to be successors. We won’t let you down,” she exclaimed.
She gives high praise to all of the faculty and staff at HCTC. “They have been phenomenal to work with. When I enrolled it was in the middle of a global pandemic. Even with some working from home, they were eager to help and explain any questions that I had. Mrs. Jama Griffie was especially helpful to me. She assisted in any area she could and directed me to who I may need to speak with regarding any questions I had. Everyone at HCTC has gone above and beyond to help me throughout this year.”
Stump graduated at a small school, in a class of 13 graduates at Wabaco Christian Academy in 2007. “We were a small, family like group. That’s one of the reasons I think I like HCTC; it has the same feel. Just like WCA, HCTC wants success for all its students and strives to see it through.”
“I will forever be thankful for the doors that have opened to me. I hope to bring encouragement to another student who is uncertain of his/her future. Whatever your dream is, chase it! You’ll never achieve it just standing there looking at it, get moving, get chasing, get enrolling at HCTC!”