Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inspiring Success Story: Carrie White

“There was more to my degree than a piece of paper…I got the confidence that, yes, I can do this!” ~ Carrie White, Accounting Technician graduate

Carrie White picked up accounting skills on her own and worked in the field for years, but after being laid off for the second time, she decided it was time to layoff-proof herself a bit.

Carrie White got a job with Cowlitz County
while finishing her Accounting degree

She graduates from LCC in December 2011 with an Accounting Technician Associate in Applied Science degree, but her education has already paid off.

She started Oct. 3 as an accounting clerk with Cowlitz County Public Works. In her new job, she handles reception, takes payments, and handles the fleet maintenance records; tracking fuel, parts, mileage, service and more.

The Trade Act provided federal funding for her education, and she took 18-20 credits per quarter so she could finish in less than two years.

She almost didn’t apply for the county job. What if she got it, and found herself with an overwhelming work and school schedule? She had plenty of competition, too. “There were 30-50 other applicants in the testing room, two nights in a row.”

But the combination of her degree and those years of work experience set her apart.

“There was more to my degree than a piece of paper…I got the confidence; knowing I am smart, and that I belong here; and the encouragement from the instructors. I got the confidence that, yes, I can do this!”

When she was hired, her instructors accommodated her work schedule and her family stepped up to help out, so she could handle the months of full-time work and school to finish her degree.

Carrie was determined to get the most from her experience, and made the President’s List with straight-A’s all the way through. She prepared herself for her first “B” this fall, but that’s OK, she says with a chuckle.

A 1990 Castle Rock High School graduate, she’s the mother of three (21, 17 and 15) and a new grandmother. “My kids think it’s pretty cool that I went back to school,” she says, adding that her college experience has helped her family grow closer. “Now my daughter is doing Running Start.”

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