After Delaying her Education, Walker Prepares to Graduate

After putting off her education for years due to financial and familial responsibilities, Evelyn Walker decided it was finally her time to pursue the skills she would need for a great career at the age of 57.

“I graduated from high school in 1977,” Walker shared. “It was always my goal to get a higher education so after graduating from high school I entered a community college but was unable to continue because of financial reasons. ”

So, Walker did what many do – she dropped out of her classes and found a job.

“After marrying and having children I attempted to return to college,” she shared. “But after a couple of semesters I felt my children needed my full attention. So once again I put my education on the back burner.”

That was 20 years ago and now Walker is only one semesters away from completing her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Technology.

The OFTC Experience
When she made the decision to go back to school Walker was impressed with what she saw at OFTC. “I was impressed with the programs offered and the time required to complete the programs,” she said. “OFTC’s campus was close to home, affordable and the small campus was something I liked.”

But after being out of the school environment for so long, Walker was sure to face some obstacles. “It was a challenge to get back in the books; however, the instructors at OFTC are very helpful, supportive and encouraging,” she shared.

Walker graduated from OFTC with her diploma in Business Administrative Technology in 2010 and decided she wanted to go further and began pursuing her associate degree in 2017.

And the closer she gets to her associates degree the more confident Walker feels in her skills and abilities. “The classes at OFTC are taught on an understanding level and the material really prepares a person to succeed in the workforce,” she said. “OFTC is preparing me well for a career and I feel like I have been given the needed skills and knowledge to prepare me for any job in my field of study.

Challenges & Motivations
School challenges weren’t the only hardships Walker faced while working to pass her classes and complete her program. After losing her mother after a complicated month full of health-related battles, Walker was struggling.

“I lost concentration and it was hard to focus on my classes; but I had three awesome instructors who went above and beyond to make sure I stayed on track to complete my studies,” Walker shared. “Ms. Marion, Mrs. Garnto and Miss Meeks pushed and helped me to keep up with my classes and finish on time. I am thankful and appreciative of all their support for me.”

While completing her education is a personal goal for Walker, it’s not the only thing that motivates her. “What motivates me to work so hard is my granddaughters,” she said. “I want to instill in them the importance of a higher education and that it matters and that it can be accomplished with hard work, determination and perseverance.”

Walker is determined to finish and says she’s the type of person who is determined to accomplish what she sets her mind to.

“Education is important to me and I want my granddaughters to see me and gain the confidence to succeed in whatever they put their mind to do.”

Final Rewards
In just a few short months, Walker will walk across the stage and receive the degree she’s worked so diligently for and hopes others are encouraged to believe in themselves like she’s believed in herself.

“Even when the goal seems impossible, keep pushing, work hard and never give up,” she said.

“I am so glad I chose OFTC,” she added. “There are caring instructors who are willing to help you succeed and there are tutor instructors who will work with you to obtain the knowledge to pass the class assignment. Overall, OFTC has a friendly and rewarding environment and I think it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to pursue a great career.”

To learn more about OFTC or any of the college’s programs, visit the college website at OFTC.edu.

Evelyn Walker in the tutoring lab at a computer working in a book.

Evelyn Walker has spent much of her time in the tutoring lab while a student at OFTC. She says the tutors have played a major role in helping her succeed in her college classes.

Evelyn Walker and the three OFTC instructors  (L-R: Kristen Garnto, Lecresicia Marion, Kim Meeks) who have made a major impact on her life while a student at OFTC, in a library.

Evelyn Walker and the three OFTC instructors (L-R: Kristen Garnto, Lecresicia Marion, Kim Meeks) who have made a major impact on her life while a student at OFTC.