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When Lauren Whaley first entered HCC, her expectations were low. But she soon found out that she could have it all at Harford Community College.
“I went into my first year at HCC expecting not to enjoy it, not to be challenged, and not to have to work very hard. I had the attitude that I was ‘just going to community college.’ I was wrong on all accounts! Harford challenged me and truly prepared me to go on and be successful at University of Maryland and beyond.”
After receiving an A.S. in Business Administration at HCC, Lauren transferred to the University of Maryland where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Science with a minor in Human Development.
She is now employed at Easter Seals DC/MD/VA as a Military Respite Outreach Specialist. The Military Respite program provides Navy and Air Force families living in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area who have children with disabilities with in-home respite services. They recruit and train respite care providers to go into homes and provide parents with a much-needed break from caregiving duties. Lauren also works with the Little Warrior program and the In-Center Respite program. The Little Warrior program serves the families and children of Wounded Warriors who are receiving care in the area by providing free childcare at the Child Development Centers and respite services. She works on outreach to find families who could benefit from the program and assist them with the registration process. In addition, Lauren also assists in planning monthly In-Center Respite events that are open to military families, civilian families with a child with a disability, and Little Warriors.
“My time at HCC gave me a good foundation to be successful not only at a four-year university, but in my job now. I was able to build strong writing skills (thank you, Linda Clary!) and although I did not go into the business field, many of the administrative skills I learned through courses at HCC have truly helped me.”
Lauren says she attributes her success to lots of hard work and a passion for what she does. “I always knew that I wanted to give back to those who serve our country in some way, and I am so lucky that I get to work with military families every day. A big part of being successful is definitely loving what you do,” she stated.
“I highly recommend Harford to others. For me, and I know many others, Harford was the perfect place to start. It helped me build the core foundation I needed to be successful as I moved on to a four-year university. I was able to take classes in subjects I had never had the opportunity to study before. In classes that I had trouble in, I could always easily find help from professors and study groups. The small class sizes allowed me to better understand topics that I may have struggled through in a huge lecture hall elsewhere. I was able to learn time management skills while both attending classes and working. There is a great sense of community at Harford. I had the opportunity to meet and get to know people from all walks of life—other young college students, veterans starting school after serving, older students returning to college for the first time in a long time. Harford has a path that can be customized to fit anyone.”
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