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by Makayla Hubbard, Sophomore/Biology Major

IMG_2694I graduated from Clay County High School in 2013. Growing up in the small community of Manchester, Kentucky, I was a little anxious about leaving my comfort zone. There will always be people who look at the negative aspects of my hometown, but I choose to look at the positive. It is a place filled with southern hospitality. Nearly everyone you pass will throw up a hand or offer you a warm smile. People open doors, say thank you, and respect their elders. I honestly feel so blessed to have been raised there.

From an early age, my parents drilled college into my head. My dad worked in the coal mining industry his entire life until an accident on the job left him disabled. His job required tough physical labor and long hours that kept him from being with his family on more than one occasion. I think he knew from the moment I was born that he would find a way to send me to college.

 My mother graduated from Alice Lloyd College but she never pressured me to follow in her footsteps. She made sure I considered all of my options and chose the school that would make me happy. I knew how much she had enjoyed her time here, and I could see the many job opportunities she now had because of it, but most importantly I could see the person it had helped her to become. There was not a single doubt in my mind that I would be an Eagle one day.

I think at that point I would have paid whatever was necessary to attend ALC, but when I was told about their many scholarship opportunities I couldn’t have been more excited! The Appalachian Leaders College Scholarship meant that my tuition would be paid in full. Free tuition meant that I could get an education without worrying about putting a huge financial burden on my parents. I don’t know if I have ever been more thrilled than I was the day that I received my acceptance letter.

I am now a sophomore at ALC and I’ve learned that Pippa Passes is a lot like where I grew up. Since I have been here I have met so many wonderful people. Through work study I have not only received free tuition, but I have made so many friends and formed bonds that I know will last a lifetime. I decided to become a biology major since the medical field offers so many occupational opportunities and is always growing. I have some of the most brilliant teachers around and they genuinely care about me. With a student-teacher ratio of 17:1 it’s possible to form a real relationship with your professors and get the help that you need when you need it.

I’m studying to become a physician’s assistant. I want to be sure to make my parents proud. What’s even better is that I’ll be able to continue receiving financial help from ALC even after I graduate through the Caney Scholars Program. I would recommend my college to anyone and I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made to attend Alice Lloyd College.