Wendy Carroll Finds a Passion for Learning at Ivy Tech Community College
When Wendy Carroll was a child, most of her family worked at General Electric's Bloomington refrigerator plant. Shortly after graduating from high school, Wendy got a job there, too. Considering her family's experience, she thought she had a clear career path.
Wendy worked at GE for 11 years, and she was content with her job. When word spread about inevitable layoffs, however, she knew she needed to reconsider her career plans. Her first thought was Ivy Tech Community College.
"I talked to some people I knew who went to Ivy Tech, and they really liked it," she said. "I thought I'd give it a try."
Even though she was eager to get started, Wendy had some reservations. As a wife and mother of two, she wasn't sure if she would have enough time to balance her schedule, and she was concerned about the cost. Also, she hadn't been in school for 15 years and was unsure about where to begin.
Fortunately, Wendy had some help in addressing these concerns. A federal government reemployment and retraining services program provided her with tuition assistance, and Ivy Tech helped her find classes that worked around her family commitments.
As a result of this support, Wendy thrived as a college student. After studying Health Information Technology for three semesters, she developed a passion for biotechnology, and aspired to be a laboratory technician. One more obstacle stood in her way, however: with several semesters remaining, she no longer was eligible for federal financial assistance. But thanks to Wendy's hard work, she was awarded the Ray and Marcie Tichenor Scholarship from the Ivy Tech Foundation.
Her love of learning continued to grow. And now she has even greater aspirations.
"I'm the first in the family to go to college," she said. "I don't want to stop here. I hope to follow in the footsteps of my husband and get my master's degree."
Her newfound passion for education has even inspired her children to begin thinking of their future. "My daughter is 16, and she's positive that she wants to go to Ivy Tech," Wendy explained. "She's seen how much I enjoy it and she's really excited to get started."
Wendy is currently participating in an internship with Cook Pharmica, LLC, a state-of-the-art biotech drug manufacturing facility. She will graduate in May 2008 with an associate degree in Applied Science and Biotechnology, and plans to enroll at Indiana University this fall to study Biotechnology or Chemistry.
"This whole experience is invigorating and very exciting," she said. "I hope more people take advantage of what Ivy Tech has to offer. It's a great place to start and offers so much opportunity."