Success Stories

Antoinette Hicks

Every beginning has an end and every end sets a precedent for new beginnings. My journey at Jefferson State Community College has brought me to a place in my life where I can only be grateful. I am grateful to God for his enabling grace, compassionate mercies, and ceaseless help in my times of need. I am grateful to my family, especially my husband for the encouragement, love, and support he offered to me as I opted to go back to school after fifteen whole years. I am also grateful to my friends and staff of Jefferson State who were there for me and assisted me as I navigated the tricky paths of my academic pursuit. I started this story with gratitude because I wouldn’t be here today without you all.

I never would have envisaged my journey at Jefferson State to be as smooth as it went. I thought returning to school after fifteen years was going to be really difficult, in truth, it was difficult for me to an extent, but the support I got from the school and her staff made life a little easier for me every day. I soon became acquainted with all that was required of me. That includes managing time as I juggled between study and work and understanding my online student dashboard.

One thing I made sure of was to ask lots of questions and meet with Dr. Shackelford and other professors to get a clear understanding of assignments. I learned a lot from Jefferson State. The program is very hands-on and requires a lot of observation hours. The teachers take time to equip you with what you need to be successful in this field. They have long hours to accommodate a wide range of schedules to help assist you with anything you may need help with. This helped me a lot as I didn’t waste too much time trying to understand assignments on my own.

In all these, my motivation was the passion I have for children and the need for more learning facilities for kids. All my life, I have wanted to have kids of my own. I and my husband tried for three years and within nineteen days of conception, I had an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured. Being alive today is a miracle, having the opportunity to study Early Childhood Education is a blessing, and knowing I would work with children in the near future is a dream come true.

During the course of my study, I experienced several different tragedies that left me heartbroken. I did all I can do to keep it a float and keep up with my studies. I overcame with prayer as God saw me through every trial.

When you are engaged in what you love, you don’t see anything before you as obstacles or difficulties, you see them as stepping stones to your greatness. I feel as though the field chose me because no matter how far away I tried to get from it, I always get drawn back to it because of my heart for children.

This program means so much to me because, in high school, I struggled with test-taking skills, and because of that, I didn’t graduate with my class. To be able to complete this degree as the most outstanding student and also Cum Laude is simply words-defying. Being a part of three different honor societies where I am Vice President of Communication in Sigma Chi Eta and also President of Alpha Beta Chi a child development organization is an exceptional privilege. I close with a vote of thanks to all the wonderful Child Development Professors and the awesome Chair Director, Dr. Shackelford for turning my dreams into reality.