MARIETTA, OHIO—Going to college was a long-time goal of Washington State Community College’s (WSCC) Student of the Month Taylor Lemasters. Her aspirations, while sincere, seemed to always get shelved for other priorities. One day she realized that she needed to prioritize herself so she stopped making excuses to delay college and enrolled.
Lemasters worked in food service in a variety of roles for several years. Despite her efforts working long, demanding hours, she didn’t see the industry providing a future for herself. The 26-year-old mom of three knew that if she wanted a better life for her family, she needed a degree. ”I just procrastinated going back to school,” she candidly admitted. “I wanted to do it but I just didn’t think it was the right time,” she continued. “When I finally decided to enroll, I just said, it’s never going to be the right time. This is as good a time as any.”
Making the commitment to go to college, as difficult as it was for Lemasters, wasn’t the hardest part of her academic pursuits. In fact, Lemasters said every semester has brought new challenges that she’s had to overcome, beginning with the loss of her grandmother at the end of her first semester. That devastating loss was compounded by the fact that her husband’s job required him to be away from home often. In addition, Lemasters was juggling school while working one and sometimes two jobs, raising her children ages 3, 6, and 8, all during a world-wide pandemic. Not surprisingly, she likens her college experience to roulette. “I never know what I’m going to get,” she laughed.
Despite the difficulties, Lemasters has prevailed. She is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the official honor society for two-year colleges, where she serves as the Vice President of Service and has organized several events, including the chapter’s recent pantry drive for EVE, a local domestic violence shelter. When she completes her final semester next spring, she will be awarded an associate degree in business management technology that she plans to use to help launch a cleaning and organizing business.