QCC 50th, Celebrating Students: Kimberly Lawrence
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Kimberly Lawrence, QCC Class of 2014
Kimberly Lawrence wanted to re-invent herself, but wasn’t sure where her path take her.
“I didn’t have faith in myself originally to go right into a four-year college, I wanted to put my toe in the pool before I jumped in, so I thought a community college would provide a taste of what things were like,” she said.
Lawrence had contacted other community colleges, but said Quinsigamond Community College felt like family right away.
“From that first phone call I knew this was the right fit for me, they made me feel like they valued their students, that I was important,” she said. “That was the reason why I came here; everywhere I turned there was a friendly face with a positive attitude.”
Quinsigamond Community College celebrates 50 years of serving the community with high-quality, affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.
The Hudson resident recently found out she will receive financial aid to attend Smith College in Northampton, Mass. Lawrence will be attending Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar.
Established in 1975, the Ada Comstock Scholars Program enables women of non-traditional college age to complete a bachelor’s of arts degree at a realistic pace, either part-time or full-time. The Ada Comstock Scholars Program combines the rigorous academic challenges of Smith with flexibility by providing options for reduced course loads, special academic advising, career counseling and diverse housing options.
After working as professional chef and pastry chef for 25 years, Lawrence was facing some personal problems and decided to get busy and go back to school. She is studying Liberal Arts with a career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist. She started at QCC in the fall of 2011 and will be finishing this May with an associate’s degree in liberal arts.
“I’ve spent years serving people’s nutritional needs, now I want to serve them emotionally,” Lawrence said. In addition to going back to school, she has been working part-time as a clerical assistant to the Dean of Academic Support at QCC, and as a caregiver for a senior who is an Alzheimer’s patient.
“QCC really gave me a lot of support, the professors were amazing,” she said. “If you put forth the effort, they give back interest, support and lots of encouragement. They pushed me beyond my comfort zone and gave me mentoring when needed. I owe everything to QCC, without QCC I would not be going to Smith.”
She will be starting at Smith College full-time in the fall, a prospect the 44-year-old finds exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. It will be an adventure, she said. “I will be living on campus, I really want to immerse myself in the total college experience, get to know my fellow students and be an active member of the campus,” she said.
“QCC has been my academic security blanket,” Lawrence said. “It has kept me safe and warm while encouraging me to explore my academic capacity.”
Lawrence said her family, including her sister, Laura, and brother-in-law, Bob, have been very supportive of her in her endeavors. One of the important roles in her life is being an aunt to their son, Keegan, 9. “Part of me doing this is to show him success is yours, you just need to go grab it,” she said.
Related Slideshow: New England Colleges With the Best Undergraduate Teaching
U.S. News & World Report released a survey conducted in 2013 of college administrators on the best schools for undergraduate teaching. Several New England made their lists for best National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Universities. See which schools made the lists in the slides below:
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