The loss of a job ranks very high among life’s most stressful events. Wanda Olden survived a horrifying time of uncertainty after suddenly losing her job about a year ago. “I was devastated,” she recalled. “I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
But she picked herself up, dusted herself off, and is now repurposing her career by majoring in business management at Paul D. Camp Community College. While it hasn’t been easy, being selected as one of 10 students in the Virginia Community College System to receive the prestigious Valley Proteins Fellowship has helped.
She will receive full coverage of tuition and fees for her second year of classes at PDCCC and will also participate in leadership programs, cultural opportunities and a community service project.
A Suffolk resident, Olden participates in the Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully (STEPS) program and Student Support Services at the College. She serves as a presidential student ambassador and vice president of the PDCCC Literary Club. Additionally, Olden was selected to represent the college at the Virginia General Assembly and the VCCS Student Leadership Conference. She was the recipient of the Franklin Woman’s Club Scholarship for spring 2014. At last report, she was working part-time as a lab assistant at the Workforce Development Center in Suffolk, assisting others with resume writing and job searching techniques.
Olden is also a volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corp, the United Way of South Hampton Roads and is a literacy tutor with the Suffolk Literacy Council. When she completes her degree at PDCCC in 2015, she will be the first in three generations of her family to graduate. She hopes to find work in business as a manager or director in the Social Behavior field.
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