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20 | YourCommuni y,YourCollege

Wanda White p

Ready for a Challenge, White Enrolls at Anderson Campus

W

anda White has always been the adventurous type, never scared to try anything new and ready for a challenge.

But, in 2011, she found herself, at age 55 and not one college credit to her name, governed by fear and self-doubt that were preventing her from enrolling in college. She was working as an on-call chaplain at AnMed Health, and her mentor and teacher, The Rev. Dr. George West, director of AnMed’s pastoral services, had been encouraging her for more than a year to go to college. “I had been looking at Tri-County’s website but was terrified,” she said. “I’ve always been hard headed and driven. I don’t like it when I can’t do something.” On the very last day to register, with midnight as the deadline, she mustered the courage to click the submit button at 11:45 p.m. and registered for fall classes at the Anderson Campus.

“I didn’t sleep a wink that night,” says White, who is in her second year of pursuing an Associate in Arts degree. “Through my Clinical Pastoral Education classes and Dr. West, I had the courage to go to college. I was afraid I’d be the oldest in my classes but soon found I fit right in,” she said.

“I’m the first one in my family to go to college,” said White, a former truck driver, who spent her early teens through her 30’s struggling with a series of failed marriages, domestic violence, family deaths and tragedies, and later a five-year dependence on drugs.

“From 1995 – 2000 I was addicted to crack cocaine. After surviving two abusive marriages and losing three of my family members, I tried to destroy myself. My ex-husband was addicted to drugs and out of control,

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