When Brenda Long, 57, lost her job of more than a decade at Stanley Furniture Company two years ago, she found herself at a crossroads, which ultimately led to Tri-County Community College (TCCC).
“I worked almost 11 years for Stanley,” said Long, a resident of Graham County. “I was 55 years old when I lost my job and I just found myself thinking, ‘What can I possibly do now, especially in Graham County?’”
Long said in examining her options, she knew that going back to school would provide opportunities for a more financially secure future, so she enrolled in accounting classes at TCCC’s Graham County Center (GCC) in Robbinsville.
“Accounting was something I’d always wanted to take years ago, but I never had the chance,” Long said. “I had grown up too poor to go to college, but after losing my job I was able to start taking classes.”
After splitting her time between TCCC’s main campus in Peachtree and GCC in Robbinsville, Long completed her associate degree in accounting last May.
“Gaining my associate degree from Tri-County has affected my life dramatically,” Long said. “Not just in terms of my paycheck, but also in the way I think, since before going back to school, I hadn’t been in a classroom for years.”
Following the completion of her degree, Long said she found employment in her career field within a month of her graduation ceremony.
“We graduated in May and by June 6, I had been offered a fulltime position with Turner & Company Certified Public Accountants here in Robbinsville,” Long said.
According to Long, without the support of her instructors at TCCC, she wouldn’t have reached the place she’s at today.
“All my instructors were incredibly helpful,” Long said. “They all provided me with a great deal of guidance when I came back to school.”
For more information regarding TCCC’s accounting program, call (828) 837-6810 or (828) 479-9256.
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