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"Harford allows you to start off small and then grow to bigger and better things. They offer the support that is needed to be successful and the knowledge to help you get there!"
A native of Harford County, born and raised in Havre de Grace, Brittany Sturgill chose Harford Community College as her starting point after graduating in 2002. Why Harford? The choice was easy – her mother is an employee here so tuition was at no cost to her. But more importantly, Brittany didn’t know (as many high school graduates can relate) what career path she wanted to take. It made good, practical sense to attend a two-year community college for prerequisites and general education classes, and then transfer to a four-year college after earning an associate degree.
As it turns out, Brittany’s path was not a straight and clear one – rather, there were many twists and turns along the way. At the young age of 18, deciding on a future and sticking to that plan is no easy task. Although she thought she knew what she wanted to do, her mind quickly changed as she started taking classes and learned more about herself and what she wanted for her future. However, she also was not prepared for the level of maturity and self-discipline she needed to hold herself accountable for getting to class on time and completing the work required to be a successful student. At one point, she found herself on academic probation after too many incompletes. However, meeting with advisors to develop a strict academic plan put her back on track. But it took a lot of hard work, an attitude adjustment, and a reality check about her future. Brittany thought, “What options do I have to be successful if I don’t complete school? I couldn’t see many.”
Fortunately, Brittany had a strong support network of people who believed in her, who continued to help guide her path, who discussed her future and took the time to actually care about what she was feeling and what she was trying to achieve. Brittany’s mother and son were behind her all the way. “They supported me, encouraged me, and motivated me to not only finish school, but to be a better person and a good mother.”
Jan Brewer, her social work professor, also had a major impact on Brittany’s success. “I’m truly grateful to Ms. Brewer for believing in me and making me feel like I had a future. I can’t put into words how much I admire her for everything she has done for me and how her words and her career helped me find my way.” Brittany feels strongly that making connections with other students, teacher, coaches, etc. was a really an important part of the school process. “Having the support of others is a positive thing when you find yourself struggling or discouraged, or even confused about the next steps. Not only can these people offer you support during difficult times, but they can be there during your successful times!”
Brittany’s path may have been rocky at the start, but her journey since has been positively upward. She transferred to UMBC in 2012 and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 2014. She was then accepted into the Advanced Standing program at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore and graduated with a master’s in social work in 2015.
Brittany is now a licensed master social worker (LMSW) and works for Baltimore County Child Protective Services. Her job is to assess and investigate child welfare concerns when they are reported to the agency. She works closely with children and families on a daily basis to determine the overall safety and well-being of the child or children and to provide families with any necessary resources that can be helpful to their family’s needs.
Reflecting on her experience at Harford, she says “I would absolutely recommend Harford as it helped pave the path of college life and overall school experience: choosing classes, meeting with advisors, and learning a new type of responsibility and accountability. It’s also a great place to complete your prerequisites while you’re still trying to determine your future path. If I could go back in time, I would change my beginning experiences of slacking off as a student and finish my degree sooner. However, it taught me several things along the way about myself, including patience, hard work, and integrity. Achieving that final goal was that much sweeter, because I put in the time and effort that was required and I never gave up. Harford allows you to start off small and then grow to bigger and better things. They offer the support that is needed to be successful and the knowledge to help you get there!”
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