My name is Kimberly Reigert, Class of '09, and this is my story. Neither of my parents finished high school. My father was practically illiterate and my mother, although bright, became pregnant at an early age and dropped out of school to care for her first child. We were very proud of her, and even more so when she completed her GED at the age of 43. With limited resources and four children, times were always tough. My father was a truck driver who because of his work needed to be gone for months on end. This caused tremendous strain on our family life. Witnessing this at a young age, I told myself early on that my parents were too consumed with their lives and I refused to be a burden. I became quiet and very shy just so I wasn't a bother.
Money continued to be tight; we lost our house and had to move into a three bedroom apartment. I got myself a job and did what I saw fit to help my family out.
In high school, I took business courses so that when I graduated I could get a full-time office job. I never thought that I could attend college. My grades were not that great, so work was the easy way out.
After 15 years of several different office positions and even making my way up to a managerial position, something was still missing. I was living what I thought was the American dream. I bought myself a condo, had the new car and was on my way to success, or so I thought. After all those years I never felt fulfilled, I was still unhappy with where I was in my life. It wasn't until I met the one person who changed my life five years ago and helped me see me for who I truly am and who I can actually become. After long discussions of what my next step would be, I realized that I love children and would love to work with them on a daily basis. I left my office job, sold my condo, and this is where Luzerne County Community College comes in.
I applied to LCCC and soon the ball was in motion for my new life. Once I walked into my first class I realized that I had an entire faculty and staff at LCCC believing in me. In a few weeks, I will graduate with an associate degree in education. I look forward to becoming a part of the outstanding affiliate program LCCC has with Bloomsburg University to acquire my bachelor's degree. That will make me the first person in my immediate family who has obtained this honor.
Along with my three part-time jobs, I've been able to maintain a grade point average of 3.85, be elected President of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter here at the school, and be awarded the PA All State Academic Team Award. These accomplishments are things that I never would have thought that I could achieve. I owe my success to so many people at LCCC.
I honestly can say that in the three years that I have been at the College, I have not walked away from a semester without saying I received a fantastic education. Every professor I've had has been amazing in helping me see my true potential. It will be a bittersweet goodbye in May as I move forward, but my years at LCCC will remain with me forever.
Luzerne County Community College gives everyone a chance to become who they are meant to become. They do what they can to help everyone succeed. Mine is not the only success story to come from LCCC. There are thousands of students who have overcome hurdles to become successful.