A challenge that I have faced throughout my life and most especially in my immediate family and is pronounced misogyny. My mom throughout my childhood insisted that women were to be in the home and not attend college. My father had the same views. My decision to attend college and pursue my dreams to become a nurse has unfortunately been met with hostility and belittling. As I have grown apart from my parents I have come to know who I am. I have found my inner strength, although being self sufficient with no help from my parents has been challenging I refuse to let my education suffer. I have taken up part time work whenever possible. At times it can feel overwhelming with supporting my family, working and attending school. However, through this I have truly found myself, I know who I am and what I stand for. I look to my daughters and I want them to see me achieve my dreams so that they know throughout their lives they can achieve anything. I teach them about the strong women of history and science. I want them to look at these women as well as look to me and see someone who never gave up. I don't just want to attend college, I want to be the best in my class. I don't just want to be a nurse, I want to be the most phenomenal nurse I can be. And I don't just want to be a mom, I want to be the most supportive, encouraging mom I can be. My opportunity is in that my adversity has fueled my ambition, I want to prove everyone wrong, I want to prove to them I can do this in spite of being a woman. I want to show my daughters that they are individuals and that any restraints put on them can be broken with the right mentality and that what people say you are or should do don't matter. Ultimately, life is what you make it, whether you be a woman or a man, whether you are religious or not, whether you be gay or straight. Finding your confidence in yourself, and the beauty that is to be found in yourself is invaluable and unshakable.
My parents chose to homeschool me through elementary and middle school. I am the only boy in my family. I have three older sisters and a twin sister. My parents have owned and operated a farm in Cowlitz County my entire life. By the time I was in fifth grade, it was more and more apparent that I was struggling with reading. I think at first my mother chalked up my lagging progress to being a boy after she'd worked with my four sisters. She finally took me to an educational psychologist and had me tested for learning disabilities. What was discovered was that I had dyslexia. In 2008 my parents lost about 85% of their income due to the recession and some extreme whether which collapsed four of our commercial poultry barns. My mother sought a job off the farm with the Castle Rock School District to provide our family with health benefits and my father expanded his business pursuits to include harvesting grass forage products. Our family had to pull together just to maintain financial equilibrium.
I am so thankful for the time I had growing up to live on a farm. If I faced challenges in reading, I excelled in many of my responsibilities on the farm which gave me a solid sense of a positive self-esteem. I operate tractors, rakes, balers, and hauled a goose-neck trailer behind a one ton pick up to contribute to our family business. I deliver hay products and deal with customers and collections. Last summer while working part time for the City of Castle Rock, I was chosen to run a rototiller to mix fertilizer into dredge spoils to develop an extensive lawn area beside the Cowlitz River because I had more equipment operating experience than any of the full time workers.
When my parents decided that my twin sister and I needed to enroll in Castle Rock High School when we were sixteen years old, I was a little stressed by what I would find in a formal education setting. They had me tested for special education services and I qualified, but we decided as a family that I would take a regular course of study. This hasn't been an easy pathway, but my investment has paid off. My GPA is 3.9. I have learned to utilize technology to offset my print challenges. I listen to audio books and watch You Tube videos if I need to see a procedure demonstrated like changing brakes or tanning a deer hide. I am an enthusiastic worker, good listener and avid observer. By emphasizing my strengths, I have been able to make up for the challenges I have faced with my learning disability. I am excited to study diesel mechanics and welding at LCC.
Millie Nyberg realized after going through a divorce and becoming a single mom with 4 children that she needed to find a way to provide stability for her family. She was working 2 jobs and dealing with the effects of her ex-husbands substance abuse. While she knew that pursuing a transfer degree in Nursing at LCC while raising four children was not going to be easy, she was determined! After she completes the LCC Nursing program, she plans to continue her education at WSU-V for Bachelors in Nursing. Her ultimate goal is become a Nurse Practitioner.
Albert “Vern” Lapier is a second year student pursuing degrees in both Machine Trades and Welding at LCC and holds a 3.27 GPA. 32 years after high school he returned to school in a determined effort to change his life. Vern has worked very hard to overcome personal, social and education challenges. He currently works as an assistant in the welding lab and volunteers at LCC’s high school welding competition. Vern is sharing his knowledge and improving his social skills while helping others learn about vocational trades.