As an undergrad the first time Leslie Black attended college, she didn't think much about her career goals. No one encouraged her to plan for the future, she just went with the flow and completed her degree requirements without striving to become an outstanding student. The second time she attended college, things were very different.
Black came to Owens Community College in 2005 on a Saturday morning in April. She had not been on a college campus in 20 years. She didn't know what she wanted to do, she just knew she needed a change.
Black had been working as a health educator and felt that the pieces of her career just weren't fitting together well. With a degree in consumer economics, she loved helping people and giving out nutritional advice to families in need, but felt as though she reached an impasse in her career.
"One reason I returned to college was because it had become apparent to me that I was being left behind and I had to do something to make myself stand out as a 40-year-old competing in today's workplace. So much of my education in the last two years included becoming adept at technology and understanding how it all fits into the workplace of today," said Black.
With the help of a wonderful guidance counselor and many dedicated teachers, Black found her second calling in life. She got her certificate of supervision and an associate degree in Business Management at Owens.
"My experience at Owens has made a greater impact on my academic potential than my experience as a young co-ed. Here, I have excelled beyond my utmost expectations," said Black.
She became an honors student and was chosen as the Spring 2007 Commencement student speaker. Nominated by her professors, Black was selected to represent the class of 2007 because of her leadership qualities, thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm in her studies.
The recent graduate has high aspirations and career goals now that she has completed her second tour in college. Black would like to work in training and human resources, so that she can still enjoy the pleasures of working with people. This time she is certain she will be able to compete in the workplace and enjoy the change in career that she desired.
"My mind has been stretched and my spirit refreshed here at Owens," she said. "My children have seen me take on a challenge and complete it with a measure of success. I appreciate the environment at Owens, an environment that realizes that learning is a life-long endeavor in a constant state of change."