Nine years ago a significant back injury changed the trajectory of Ginny Greenway’s life, shifting her focus to working smarter rather than harder.
As a mom of six, Ginny had always envisioned herself going to college when she was done raising her children. She suffered her back injury when her youngest child was still in middle school, prompting her to go back to school sooner than she’d planned. In her mid-forties, she “had to re-learn what I was going to be when I grew up.” CCV was her first step.
Ginny started in 2013 in CCV’s early childhood education (ECE) program while working as a paraeducator in an elementary school. “Those first steps to get through the doors of CCV were the most frightening for me,” she said. “Having been out of school for so long, I was afraid that if I didn’t use it I would lose it, and I was really nervous about that.” But Ginny’s love of learning helped her persevere and succeed at CCV. “I loved going to school. My biggest fear, even though it was a desire, became that thing that I looked forward to.”
The decision to go to CCV was an easy one for Ginny. The close proximity to her home, along with the low cost, were big factors for her, and once she got through the doors it was obvious that CCV was the right choice. “Once I got there it was just such a warm and inviting staff that I felt like I had landed where I was supposed to be,” she said. “I always felt that people there sincerely wanted me to succeed. It was never anything but supportive.”
The College also provided a place for connection. As she was relatively new to the area, moving to Vermont not long before starting at CCV, she enjoyed the social aspect of attending classes. “It really helped me to feel more at home here,” she said. She was able to build friendships with fellow students, and professional connections with staff and faculty at CCV-Newport, that have lasted beyond her time at the academic center. For Ginny, “that personal piece is what makes CCV such a good experience. You never ever feel like just a number when you’re going into classes at CCV.”
Class flexibility also proved to be a reason that Ginny loved CCV. Throughout her time at the College, Ginny had to travel to different states to care for friends with health issues. She also took time, often unplanned, to support and care for her son, who is an adult with an emotional disability. “Life throws you a lot of curveballs. Online learning makes it almost impossible to not succeed. It’s just that helpful.”
As Ginny progressed through the ECE program, she herself was affected by various health issues. Her interests evolved into focusing on nutrition, and she chose to also pursue STEM courses at CCV. After her graduation from CCV in 2015, her interests continued to expand, and she pursued additional education at NVU-Johnson with a concentration in psychology. During this time, she was working at Edward Jones as an office administrator and was eventually offered her current position as a financial advisor.
Ginny attributes her career success to her CCV education. “I went off in a different direction, but without that education my job would not have happened,” she said. Ginny says that the general education courses she took at CCV helped her with the skills she uses every day and were “absolutely invaluable.” These include communication, interpersonal, computer, and public speaking and presenting skills. “It amazes me from time to time how many pieces of my education are used regularly even though I didn’t end up following one of the majors that I started with,” she said.
Education has always been important to Ginny, and going to college was always a part of her plan, even though she started later in life than is considered ‘traditional.’ “I’m that lifelong learner,” she said. “I truly enjoyed getting my education.” And she truly enjoyed getting it at CCV: “it’s an affordable education, it’s close to home, it’s personal—there’s no price tag for that. I always felt comfortable, like I was going home…I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group than I had at CCV.”
Now that she has completed college as an adult student, Ginny said that she’s “never afraid to take that leap of faith” to pursue her dreams. With new career goals set for the future, she feels that she’s ready to accomplish anything. Ginny’s advice for others who may be considering pursuing their education later in life is “you’re never too old to start. You’re never too old to change your mind about who you want to be or what you want to do when you grow up.”