When Ernie lost his job in the manufacturing plant for the second time in 3 years, he knew that he had to make a change. EOC was offering a Career Decision Making workshop at his local CareerLink office, and he thought maybe a career change was in order.
His interest test revealed that he would be good at some type of helping occupation and with his interest in health and fitness, the Physical Therapy Assistant occupation sounded interesting. So, he took a leap of faith and with the help of EOC, he applied to Penn State’s program and to his surprise, he was accepted.
The road through that 2 year degree wasn’t easy. The first hurdle was college level work, tutors helped with that; the next hurdle was financing, financial aid with the help of EOC took most of that burden. All he had to do was stay on track.
Well, during his pursuit of a college degree, Ernie’s truck was repossessed, his wife lost her job, and everything just seemed to be closing in on him. But, he persevered, graduated, and started his new career.
Today, three years later, Ernie pulled up in his brand new Cadillac to share the good news, he has been promoted to the Director of Rehabilitation. Yes, he is still a PTA; but his leadership, work ethic, and positive attitude got him here. Can’t wait to see where he goes next on his career ladder. Now, 52 years old, Ernie can’t help but look at this five year journey as nothing short of amazing.
As a senior in high school, Theresa knew that she wanted to be a lawyer. Coming from a single parent house, she was rewarded with excellent values that include commitment, dedication, focus and, even faith. As Theresa held the acceptance letter from Dickinson College, she was both excited and fearful. Excited that this prestigious college wanted her as a student, but mostly fearful of the cost. Although Theresa’s mom wasn’t a college graduate, she was familiar with the EOC office as it had assisted her with gaining some valuable workforce skills to advance in her office position. So, together, Theresa and Rose visited the EOC office and started on the financial aid process.
The good news was that Theresa qualified for maximum grants, this helped a lot, and the even better news was that Dickinson was offering her a scholarship. This college was indeed in her reach. It wasn’t until her EOC Academic Specialist mentioned to her that there is a little known way to save an entire year of law school tuition; it is a lofty goal, but one that Theresa was up for. So, as a freshman, she embarked on the plan to finish her undergraduate degree early and start Law School as an undergraduate senior. As she met with the college, she found that less than 10 people had actually accomplished this task, and that no one in current history had ever dealt with someone attempting this. Never to be deterred, Theresa kept the eye on her prize and with the help of true focus, her senior year of her undergraduate degree was her first year of law school. This is a huge accomplishment and her financial aid picture was drastically changed by achieving this momentous task.
Today, Theresa is a lawyer that specializes in elder law, she is married to a lawyer and they have a beautiful child.
When Sam decided to make the huge step to apply to college, he called EOC to make an appointment. His Academic Specialist assisted him in completing his college application and applying for financial aid. In a short time, he received an acceptance letter! As the semester began, he had no idea how much his “huge step” would influence his family.
Since he was accepted to college, he has inspired his three brothers to make the same big step. To date, two of them are accepted to college for the fall, and the third is working on his GED.
The brothers have already created a study group to support each other through the process.
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