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On February 15, 2018, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Virginia Madison Mooney, a Sociology Major from Inez, Kentucky. Affectionately known by her former teammates and peers as “Maddog”, she is a first-generation college student who will be graduating in the spring of 2018. Ms. Mooney has been involved in the Sociology Club, played softball, was a member of the Student Government Association, and performed with the Voices of Appalachia.

The following are the questions that she was asked and her responses. Her answers will provide a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of what Alice Lloyd College has meant to this young lady and her future.

Q: In describing your ALC experience, what stands out the most in shaping the woman you have become?

A: My ALC experiences have taught me more than any textbook, lecture, or homework assignment could ever teach me. Don’t get me wrong, I have gained tremendously from the classroom, and I know once May 5th rolls around I will be prepared for my future.  Beyond this, Alice Lloyd College has also helped me find the confidence I have never had in myself before. Growing up, education was hard for me, and because of that I never took it as seriously as I should have. I made good grades and passed all my classes, but it was the growth and the discipline that the ALC professors, staff, and students showed that helped me become the educated woman that I am today. The confidence they saw in me before I could see it has inspired me to never give up. I have always been driven in everything I have done here at Alice Lloyd College no matter if it was my work ethic, my friends, sports, or job. I am blessed for what ALC has done for my life and my future is finally becoming a reality.

Q: Beyond the classroom what has helped you the most?

A: Work study has helped me grow as an individual and advance my work abilities. I have worked in many areas, including janitorial staff, hunger din worker and supervisor, and as a registrar’s office assistant. Most recently, I have worked as a teacher’s assistant and a tutor for the sociology department. I have gained leadership skills, a new work ethic, and different experiences in all of these jobs. I have gained more confidence as a student worker including working in office settings and teaching other students.

Q: Why did you choose to major in sociology?

A: One of the reasons I chose Sociology as my major was that I am interested in people and understanding how the mind works particularly how people deal with emotions, stress, and experiences; with sociology, you can see the best of both worlds. The different types of courses such as Family, Mental Health, Human Development, and Theory help you understand people on a more macro scale compared to experiences you see in your life. To me, I think all of sociology is very interesting.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: My future plans are to advance my education even further by either getting my Masters of Social Work or a Mental Health and Counseling degree. Along the way, I plan on working within the field to gain more experience. The goal after that is to come back to my hometown here in the mountains and become either a therapist or school counselor to help children in my school district. Essentially, I hope to be able to give back to the people of these mountains after everything they have done for me.

Q: What does “Service Leadership” mean to you?

A: Part of my desire to give back is based on the Alice Lloyd College principle of Service Leadership. Service Leadership is being able to serve others in a manner that can impact their lives forever. To me, this character trait is very important to have especially with the field I am interested in. You have to put others before yourself to understand or reason with the individual who struggles or doesn’t understand why things happen or hurt them. You need to be a servant leader that steps up to the plate to touch peoples’ lives in a very uplifting way and impact their future. One small impact or act of kindness can flood the world with a more positive outlook on how to help or seek help for others. To be a servant leader you have to possess a driven spirit to see the world as a better place for future generations.

Q: If you were to give advice to a student thinking about attending ALC what would it be?

A: One thing that I would like to tell any future student reading this is to expect the unexpected. What I mean by that is you never know what college can throw at you. Some things can be good and other things can test you, but you will not regret the decision of coming to Alice Lloyd College. It is a very small, homey environment, and has a tight-knit community every student wishes for. Whether it’s with the staff, professors, or students, this college was home to me for the past four years and has brought me life-long friends, a golden education, an amazing work ethic, and memories that will last a lifetime. If those characteristics are what you are looking for when you enroll in a college, then ALC should be your new home.