Educational Opportunity Centers
Along with the traditional obstacles to college completion, many students are faced with outstanding circumstances that make it especially difficult for them to achieve a college degree. Today’s students are not only balancing time and priorities, they are in some cases a lack of formal knowledge and social distractions. They are also juggling full-time jobs, family responsibilities and limited budgets. One such student was on her way to fulfilling her dream of obtaining a college degree until she experienced a significant brain trauma that temporarily delayed her educational journey. Poleshka Delgado is a military wife and mother of three, and in Spring 2011, this Cumberland County resident was continuing on her path to completing an Associate Degree in Pharmacy Technology at Fayetteville Technical Community College. After experiencing a series of severe headaches, neck pain, numbness and dizziness, she was ultimately diagnosed with brain trauma. With much intense physical therapy, medication and subsequently undergoing major brain surgery in 2015, Mrs. Delgado was finally freed of her illness. However, her medical journey lasted almost five years; time that she could not attend school. With the help of EOC advisor, Ms. Tiffany Walker, Mrs. Delgado applied for readmission to FTCC and a continuation of her financial aid. So in Fall 2016, Mrs. Delgado again was enrolled full-time in a degree seeking program. In today’s economy, the need for higher education remains strikingly clear. Employers are increasingly requiring a bachelor's degree for positions that didn't used to require baccalaureate education, and a high school credential has steadily been replaced with the minimal requirement of an associate degree. A college degree, in other words, is becoming the new high school diploma. It is because of this that Mrs. Delgado has held steadfast to her goals and dreams of postsecondary success as she currently holds a GPA of 3.652. She does not want her past medical crisis to prevent her from meeting her anticipated graduation date of May 2018. With her will and perseverance, the EOC program and especially Ms. Walker, she looks forward to that day.