“I Came Back for My Dream”
Ashley Reynolds had a dream when she graduated from high school in 2000. “I was very excited about starting college as a Pre-Engineering major and wanted to work in a technical industry,” explains Ashley.
Her plans changed somewhat with the birth of her first child – a beautiful addition to her life, but with a significant impact on her lifestyle and the time she had for college. Although she worked to keep classes in the mix, it became more difficult as the years went by. Then a chronic illness brought both a challenge and an opportunity. “I knew there were some things I needed to address if I wanted to regain a normal life,” says Ashley. One of them was getting back to her dream of a college education in Engineering.
Ashley was drawn to EICC’s Mechanical Design program and – through its unique hybrid model of online classes, open lab times at the Blong Technology Center and 8-week format – was able to make the program work with her schedule. She signed up for her first class in the Fall semester of 2012 and – even facing other losses and challenges – walked across the stage on May 21, 2014 with a 3.5 GPA to receive her degree. But it gets EVEN better. Ashley attended a Career Fair sponsored by EICC just prior to graduating and met with a representative from a manufacturing firm in Cedar Rapids. “He told me to be sure and apply for the position. Long story short, I had a phone interview on May 9th, 2014 and by May 12th had been offered a full time Mechanical Design position with a great salary and benefits! I hadn’t even graduated yet, but had landed a good job,” she says happily. “My life will never be the same.”