Life has thrown Leandra Napier some curve balls, but thanks to an education from Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC), she has overcome obstacles, and she is excited about her new future.
She was married at age 19 and now, with a husband no longer in the picture and three children to rear – ages 12, 10, and 7 – she knows she is setting the example for her children so they too can secure a good future.
Although it wasn’t easy for her, Napier has earned an associate in science degree, associate in arts degree, and two certifications — Nurse Assistant and Clinical Medical Assistant. She is enjoying her new job with the Leslie County Health Department as a Disease Investigator, a new position created because of COVID-19.
Napier tells how her journey began: “I was a stay home wife and mother for over nine years when suddenly the world as I knew it, changed! My nine-year marriage failed, and I found myself back at home with my parents except this time I had three small children who depended upon me. I had nothing more than a high school diploma and a few college classes. Although, that moment felt like the end, it’s really where my ‘journey’ began,” she said.
She enrolled in college at HCTC and became eligible to receive the Ready to Work scholarship. “This program allowed me to be the mother I needed to be, work flexible hours to earn a living, all while earning a college degree. We were soon able to move out of my parents’ home and get a place of our own, and we always had everything we needed,” she noted.
Napier greatly appreciates the HCTC staff. “I couldn’t say enough wonderful things about the advisors and RTW coordinators! I have been guided each step of the way and encouraged in the best of times and in the worst of times – even during times when I felt like giving up. The people that I have met along this way have truly affected my life in such a way it’s changed my life,” she said. She landed a job that pays $20 an hour with great perks and benefits.
“Above all I thank God for leading me and guiding me all the way through. He is worthy of all praises,” she stressed. “I got my confidence back after life had me literally feeling like I was torn into pieces that could never be put back together again.”
The 32-year-old’s future plans include continuing her HCTC education to become a nurse.
Napier, a 2005 Leslie County High School graduate, lives in Hyden. Her parents are Daniel and Teresa Napier.