Going from a scared, troubled child to a goal-oriented, professional woman in just a few short years would never have been possible without Trident Technical College (TTC).
My happiest memory was when I was five and visited my very first film set in my hometown of Covington, Georgia. Seeing so many people and hearing them shout, “places, people!” made me realize this is exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. I set out to learn everything I could about the film industry by setting up mock sets, taking old cameras apart and destroying any electronic equipment I could get my hands on.
But my innocent, childhood dreams were quickly forgotten.
My mother began to struggle with drugs and alcohol, and I was often left to fend for myself with little food and no running water or electricity. When I was 15, I was alone in the house and heard the front door open. Two large men came bursting into my bedroom, brutally attacked and attempted to kidnap me.
They told me that my mother had sold me for drugs.
I somehow managed to get away and eventually went to live with my father in Charleston, South Carolina. When my dad asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I remembered my childhood dream of wanting to work in the film industry. I did some research and was thrilled to discover TTC offered such programs, was affordable and I could attend with my GED.
It turned out that I was unable to receive financial aid because my mother was still my legal guardian and I had no idea where she was. I was working four jobs, trying to juggle my classes and trying to make sense of the nightmare of my past. I loved going to school and learning about the industry, but I struggled and, once again, lost sight of my dreams. I ended up doing the one thing I thought I would never do: I turned to drugs.
Thankfully, my instructors at TTC did everything in their power to help me. They treated me like I was family and gave me the strength, encouragement and tools to achieve my goals. I received my degree in 2008 and today I am happily working at CNN as a Satellites and Transmissions Operator/Engineer.
I know I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the positive experience I had at TTC and I am proud to be an alum!