Spotlight: Selena


Selena is working toward her dream of becoming a nurse and is motivated by being a role model for her son. She currently lives near Kalamazoo, MI and has been working with her Success Coach since December 2018.

Q. Tell us about your educational journey: Where did it begin for you? Why did you decide to go to college?

I graduated high school in 2013. I’ve always known college is important but I was always clueless on what I wanted to study or major in. I applied to KVCC that summer and I remember being super lost about the whole process and getting started, but I also wasn’t proactive about getting help or asking questions. So I ended up just working and living life. I don’t really remember how it came about, but I finally started taking classes the winter semester of 2015. I did okay but could have done a lot better. I signed up for classes for the following summer semester and I did start them, but things didn’t work out so I dropped. I am finally back for the Fall 2019 semester with a new mindset and am super thrilled. 

Q . When did things start to become challenging?

I was in a super toxic relationship which looking back, at that time I didn’t realize it at all. Instead of focusing on myself, my studies and my life, I was heavily devoted and focused on this person. A little more than half way through the end of the winter 2015 semester I got pregnant. I struggled a lot with morning sickness and not feeling well which carried over into the summer semester. Again, I was also heavily focused on this other person, causing me to get off track and between the struggles of pregnancy and worrying about someone else who wasn’t good for me, I missed classes often. 

Q . What did you do after you left school?

I had my son December 2015. I got a full time job as a housekeeper in February 2016 at Borgess. Two years later I switched over to Bronson and am still here today as a housekeeper. That has been my life since leaving Valley; taking care of my son and cleaning hospital beds.

Q . Why did you decide to return to school?

I am definitely in a better place in life mentally. I’m very focused on me, my son, and the future. I work hard and a lot of hours every week since I’ve had him and still struggle financially. I don’t want to be a housekeeper for the rest of my life. It has become apparent that if I want to get ahead in life I need a degree. I think we’re now living in times where it’s detrimental not to have a degree or some sort of skill or trade.

Q. How has working with a Success Coach affected your life?

I’m not too sure I would be back at Valley without my Success Coach. She really helped me figure things out and has pushed me every step of the way. It is so nice to have the support of someone knowledgeable of the struggles that come with college. Having someone to support me with the resources I may need or even just motivation has been great. 

Q. What is your biggest motivation?

My son is one of my biggest motivations. I want a better life for us. I want to be able to buy a house one day and overall just be financially stable with a career I love. I also want to be a role model, and for him to know that all things are possible with the right mindset and hard work.

My grandparents are also my biggest motivation. I lost them in 2018 to a drunk driver. I was super close to my grandmother. She was basically my best friend. I know my grandparents were proud of me and always have been, but deep down I know they also wanted more for me. I really want to earn this degree to also make them proud.

Q. What advice do you have for stopped out students who are considering going back to school?

Go for it. Don’t keep waiting. Talk to your family or someone who will support you and your decision. If you need help or are confused definitely get in contact with a Success Coach!