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Achievers and Dreamers

Achieve the Dream
AtD Main > Achievers and Dreamers

Achiever and Dreamers

Anthony Taylor Portrait
Anthony Taylor


Something has to change if you want something different!

Posted May 10, 2011

"If nothing changes, nothing changes. Something has to change if you want something different."

Following that advice from a counselor, Anthony Taylor made changes in his life and his future. He enrolled at North Central State College in 2010.

Many on campus may recognize Taylor from his work in Student Activities. They see his friendly, smiling face and see him as a typical student. They would be wrong. The counselor gave Taylor the advice while he was serving a felony sentence at Richland Correctional Institution.

"I was a knucklehead," Taylor said. "I made a lot of mistakes when I was younger. Now, I want to help others who made some mistakes in life."

>>read more

Jarryel Salazar Portrait
Jarryel Salazar


A long and blessed road!

Posted May 10, 2011

Is is 23 miles from Jarryel Salazar's home in Willard to North Central State College, but the road he traveled to get to college is much longer.

Salazar was born in Managua, Nicaragua. At age 13, he joined his mother and 2-year-old brother in immigrating illegally to the United States. "We swam across a river to get into the U.S. Some people drowned. A guy was supposed to meet us when we arrived, but he abandoned us. We ended up in Tucson, Arizona, but eventually moved to Willard because that's where my stepdad was," Salazar recalls.

Salazar said his family had many reasons for wanting to come to the States. "My family was well off, maybe even rich, compared to many. My grandmother had a bakery and people used to line up to get her bread. The earthquake and the war took it all. I was a witness to the war at a young age. There was a civil war in Nicaragua that was fought over 20 years. Relatives on my dad's side of the family were freedom fighters. We came to the U.S. to get a new start," Salazar said.

>>read more

Mario Twyman Portrait
Mario Twyman


Mario Twyman is On His Way

In his second quarter at North Central State College, Twyman is taking classes in the Human Services major. "My short-term goal is to finish out my third quarter at North Central State in the spring of 2010," Twyman said. "I plan to transfer to Toccoa Falls Bible College in Georgia in the fall. I want to pursue a bachelor's degree in social work or counseling psychology."

"Eventually, I'd like to land a job as a prison counselor, possibly at San Quentin State Prison in California."

Many college graduates would shy away from such an environment, but Twyman believes he can help inmates, just as someone once helped him.   >>read more

Adrian Davidson Portrait
Adrian Davidson


Adrian Davidson has a Bright Future

It was a question his wife asked
that made Adrian Davison stop and
think about his future.

"I had been injured on the job and was at home. We were watching television when a commercial from North Central State College came on," Davison recalled several months later. "My wife looked at me and said, 'Why don't you go to school?'"

Davison, who had sustained a shoulder injury in an incident at the Crestline plant of PGW, took the step that he believes will soon lead to a new career. "I decided to check into it. I called the college to see what they had to offer and how to go about enrolling," he said. "I talked to the people in admissions and they were very helpful. We discussed the various career opportunities available and when they mentioned radiology, I knew that was something I wanted to pursue. I've always been interested in radiology.   >>read more

Amy McFarland Portrait
Amy McFarland


Amy McFarland was Surprised by Her Layoff

Amy McFarland didn’t think it could happen to her. After 13 years working for the city of Mansfield, she was laid off. “I thought I would work for the city until I reached retirement age. That didn’t happen,” McFarland said. “I was part of a big layoff as the city faced a budget problem.”

At 44, McFarland is back in the classroom for the first time in many years, working toward a nursing degree at North Central State College. “I want to become an R.N.,” she said. “I volunteered for Hospice for a while. That was an incredibly moving experience. My dad had Hospice before he passed away and I really came to appreciate the service they provide. It gave me a whole new perspective on the health care field. I think ultimately I would like to be a Hospice nurse or work for the VA. My dad benefited from both of those organizations.”

Like many Ohioans these days, McFarland qualified for financial help with the cost of her schooling.

“Because of my job loss, I qualified for assistance through the Workforce Investment Act. But you have to meet certain criteria for receiving WIA funds. One of those is you have to carry at least 12 credit hours, which is a lot for someone who hasn’t been in school for years. It takes every ounce of energy I have to do my studies and keep my grades up,” she said.   >>read more

Brian Price Portrait
Brian Price


Brian Price is Getting a Fresh Start!

At 29, Brian Price is getting a fresh start. The single father of three is pursuing a degree in electrical maintenance at North Central State College.

“I moved to Mansfield from North Carolina. I was a heavy machine operator there, but also was into some things that I didn’t want my kids to be around. I thought the lifestyle would be better here,” he said.

But without an education, Price has had difficulty in finding employment.

“I was a 10th grade dropout. My reading and writing is at a seventh-grade level. I never thought about going to college,” he said. “But I got my GED in December and decided to keep going to school.”   >>read more

Brian Stewart Portrait
Brian Stewart


Brian Stewart is on the “RT” Track

Approaching his 45th birthday, Brian Stewart is on his way to a new career. Stewart, who will celebrate his birthday in May, is pursuing a degree in respiratory therapy at North Central State College.

“I worked in manufacturing almost 30 years,” Stewart recalls. “I decided I needed to make a change when I was laid off. There’s not a great future in manufacturing here.”

Stewart’s most recent position was with Sarca Manufacturing in Mansfield, a division of Jay Industries. Like many companies, Sarca was impacted by the economic downturn. “We were a part of the automotive industry and when that went south, so did Sarca. I found I was out of job,” he said.

But there was a ray of hope extended to Stewart. He learned as a displaced worker he was eligible to receive help with his education through the federal Workforce Investment Act. “I found I had an opportunity to go back to school and I took it,” Stewart said. “It has been a good experience for me.”   >>read more

Tearwanna Anderson Portrait
Tearwanna Anderson


Tearwanna Anderson is Working Toward Tomorrow

Tearwanna Anderson understands poverty. At age 2, she was adopted by her aunt, Wanda Thomas, who already had six children, because her mother was unable to care for her. “Things were not easy for us, but my aunt somehow managed to keep me on the right track. I consider her my mother,” Anderson said.

At 15, Anderson began working nearly full time at a fast food restaurant to contribute to the household. She still graduated with her class in 2004 from Mansfield Senior High School. She was the first member of her family to graduate from high school. She served as an inspiration as two siblings have since earned diplomas.

She married shortly after high school and soon became the mother of two young children: Jayden, now 5, and Thaddeus, now 2, (with another on the way).

As a 24-year-old mother, Anderson no longer works in a fast food restaurant. Her husband, Carlos, is a correctional officer at Richland Correctional Institution and earns enough to support the young family.

But Tearwanna has decided she wants something more. She wants a career. “One day last fall, we received a brochure in the mail from North Central State College,” she recalls. “I looked through it and talked with Carlos and together we decided it would be possible for me to go back to school.”   >>read more

John and Dorthea Richey Portrait
John and Dorthea Richey


John and Dorthea Richey

Sometimes it takes friendly persuasion for a person to make a life-changing decision. That was the case for John Richey. “My best friend had been urging me to check out North Central State College for years. Finally, two years ago I did,” Richey recalled. “Now, I’m on my way to a degree in biological sciences. When I graduate, I will be able to work in a lab.”

The decision to listen to his friend’s suggestion has not only changed life for the 30-year-old Richey, but also for his 28-year-old wife, Dorthea, and their three children.

After John enrolled and experienced success. Dorthea decided to give college a try, as well. “I always wanted to get a degree,” Dorthea said. “But with three kids, I felt I had to wait until the time was right. Now the kids are older and are in school, so I felt I could try it.”   >>read more


Rob Collins was the first member of his family to attend NC State

Attending North Central State College has become a tradition for the Collins family.

Rob Collins graduated in 1998 with a degree in biomedical engineering. His son, Joshua, earned a degree in electronics in 2004 and daughter, Victoria, is a first-year student in medical technology.

The decision to attend North Central State College was life changing, Rob Collins recalls. “There were several reasons I chose North Central,” he said. “It was close to where we live, in Attica. I was unemployed and they offered a number of programs that could lead to good jobs. And the people I met there seemed intent on helping me succeed.”

After an eight-year stint in the Army, where Collins got to enjoy such delights as stifling heat and high humidity in Central America, he worked in a number of fields. “When I first came out of the Army, I worked construction in Fairborn. I drove a truck for a while and then worked in restaurants. I was a manager for McDonald’s in Springfield and also ran a Denny’s. I wanted to find something where I could have a career. I have one now.”   >>read more

Stephen Anderson works with a patient
Stephen Anderson
works with a patient


Stephen Anderson Trains Up!

In his early 50s, Stephen Anderson was presented an opportunity to change his life. The Hydromatic plant in Ashland where he worked as a lead person in fabrication was closing. After more than 30 years of factory work, Anderson decided to take advantage of the opportunity to enter a new profession.

“We were acquired by Pentair and they decided to close our facility and consolidate operations with another plant they owned,” Anderson recalled six years later. “People with my seniority were offered the choice to take a buyout or move to the other plant and take a different job for a substantial pay cut. I decided to take the buyout and go back to school.”

Anderson weighed several options, but in the end decided to pursue a degree in a place he was familiar and comfortable with: North Central State College.

“My wife is a nurse and is a graduate of North Central. She suggested I check out the college and see what they offered in the medical field that might interest me,” Anderson said. “I decided to pursue a degree in the physical therapy assistant program.”   >>read more



Student Success Story Submission

If you know someone who has overcome difficulty to enroll at NC State please submit their story so that it may inspire others.