Lorena Baird wasn't deterred by starting college later in life. She loves learning new things and thinks the life lessons that accompany being an older student support student success.
Baird, both a grandmother and great-grandmother, started taking classes at Owens Community College after losing her job through company downsizing. She received a certificate in accounting and graduated in May 2007 with an associate of arts degree.
"I felt I needed to become 'more employable' so that meant going back to school," Baird said. "Since graduating, I've felt a sense of accomplishment … and relief. I haven't decided if I am going to pursue a bachelor's degree or not, but I am being encouraged to do it."
While studying for a history class, she realized her age in an interesting way.
"As I was reading the textbook, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I have lived through a lot of this history.' It gave me a good laugh," Baird, 65, recalled.
She also holds two additional associate's degrees in small business management and marketing from Aims Community College in Colorado.
In addition to caring for two of her grandsons, Baird is currently working as Outreach and Enrollment Management Specialist on the Owens Community College Findlay-area Campus.
Baird jokes that she has certainly helped with enrollment - six of her 15 grandchildren have attended Owens. Two attended before transferring to other universities, one attended through the Post Secondary Option program and one graduated a few years ago with a business degree. Two are currently attending Owens, in fact one will graduate in May from the Business Management program.
This March, she was appointed as a Director to the Alumni Association Board.
"I am thrilled and excited to become a part of such a great group of people. I am looking forward to being involved with both the Alumni Board of Directors and as the liaison for the Findlay alumni. Anytime that we can combine our efforts to better serve our students, it is a win-win situation for everyone," said Baird.