Rochelle White Finds Hope through OFTC Adult Ed Classes
Rochelle White knew she needed a better way to provide for her family. But she felt stuck, unable to pursue the career her family needed because of her lack of formal education.
She decided to enroll in the adult education program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) and pursue her high school equivalency. But while she was taking classes the burden of providing for her family weighed heavy.
“I had to make a difficult choice of whether to continue with my GED classes or to enroll in the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Program which would allow me to learn a skill and get a job without a high school diploma or GED,” White said.
White needed a way to earn a living and to provide for her family, so she quit her adult education classes and enrolled in the CNA program.
Twenty-three years later, White still works as a CNA.
“I have been trapped in this career for 23 years because of my choices in life,” White said. “I am unable to advance because of my lack of education.”
White was hopeless and saw no way out, no way to better herself or her family. “My life as a young mother made me feel that nothing was possible for me. I was at a dead end working a job that didn’t pay half the bills.”
Then one day everything changed.
While driving in her car one afternoon, White saw a sign advertising the opportunity for adults to go back to school to enhance their learning and obtain their high school equivalency.
“I finally felt hope,” White said. I was excited because it was like God was giving me another chance to further my education and become a better giver to my community and a better mother.”
While the thought of returning to school was scary for White, her drive to change her future led her to walk through the doors at OFTC, once again, to pursue her high school equivalency.
“When I got to OFTC I had welcoming hands that told me they would do anything in their power to make sure I had the skills and tools to succeed,” she said. “They set my mind at ease and made me believe they would help me reach my goals.”
After only a few weeks in class, White recognized the impact her adult education classes were making. “This program has changed not only my life, but how I view life,” White said. “Before, I would not talk to people because my vocabulary was limited, but now I can’t stop talking!”
She’s also no longer embarrassed to help her children with their homework. “I can now help them without getting upset,” White added.
A once hopeless young mother is now confident, embracing the future because she knows she is capable of great things.
“I look back and think how I used to go into my patients’ bathrooms and cry, asking God to please help me; and now He has opened the door for better opportunities through OFTC’s adult education program,” White said.
“What once seemed impossible is now all possible.”
White is working to obtain her high school equivalency and plans to further her education in practical nursing so she can advance in her career as a nurse.