Never Give Up On Your Dreams
Accounting graduate Terina Washington pushes through to earn her GED and then her college degree
Terina Washington considers herself far from a traditional student since she did not graduate from high school. It was not until the age of 32 that she earned her GED and the idea of continuing her education in college became a serious thought. After enrolling at BRCC, she decided to take classes in accounting, a field in which she had been working for more than 20 years. She felt it would benefit her more to get a certification in accounting since she enjoys working with numbers, and math was always her favorite subject.
Initially enrolling in 2014 at BRCC, Washington withdrew a semester later due to a family emergency. After starting her college journey six-years prior, she wanted to hold herself accountable and now was time for her to live by her own words of never giving up on her dreams. Washington stressed to her four children the importance of education and felt she needed to lead by example.
“Higher education is like an interstate,” said Washington. “When you’re ready to start just choose your on-ramp and the lane that’s most comfortable for you. You may need assistance along the way from your deans, professors, or the administration who are there to assist. You may also experience a delay or even road construction. That’s completely okay and it’s normal. You may have to take a detour but remember there’s always another on-ramp ahead when you’re ready to move forward. Whatever you do, don’t give up and keep it moving.”
One challenge Washington had to overcome was keeping her focus in class and not allowing herself to be distracted by other things going on in her family life. After missing a few semesters to take care of some family issues, she was determined to complete the journey she started. Washington said her experience at BRCC was wonderful primarily because her professors were always available and extended themselves to help her navigate to getting a quality education. She also credits staff members who recognized her potential, which made her feel more confident in her courses.
“I am finally in a position in my life where I have something tangible that I can say I completed,” said Washington.
Washington also took on the responsibility to help a fellow student with a disability by taking notes for that student during class. She was part of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) organization which provides a leadership program to help students achieve personal growth and empowers students to have a positive impact in their communities.
There was a moment when she cried after realizing her dream of graduating was only a few weeks away. She reflected on all that she overcame to reach this milestone in her life such as going from public housing to now being a homeowner and an aspiring business owner.