New partnership links ECTC students to caring support

Nicole Livingston speaking at a recent Elizabethtown Community and Technical College event.

I made the decision to get back in school and enrolled this past July. I am very interested in psychology, and ultimately want to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and families.

Early in the fall term, I found myself facing a lot of challenges. At home and in my classes. Technology is not always easy for me and having an old desktop that was not the most up to date, really wasn’t helping — and, because of COVID, no one could physically come to my home to help. My internet is not the best either. So, as someone in all online classes, I had thought maybe I should just drop out and try again in the future.

Maybe just thinking that was sort of a prayer for help because one day I received a call from a nice person checking on me and my enrollment status. I now know that was a specialist in Family Scholar House’s Response Center. I shared my circumstances and she listened. She asked questions to be sure I was getting the benefits available to me. She also wanted to see how she could help me so I would stay in school.

One thing she suggested was a Chromebook to do my online coursework. She also told me about the EBB — Emergency Broadband Benefit — that will help me have better internet by covering most or all of the cost. It turns out this was more than a suggestion. Understanding my situation, the Response Center Team made arrangements to bring a Chromebook to me and they are helping me sign up for the EBB.

The specialist also told me about resources at ECTC that would benefit me. Because I did not have any transportation, I did not really have a way to go to the college to talk to anyone or access the tutoring center. They made it possible for me to have transportation so that, when I need help, I can get to the college.

Some of the other things they have to offer are professional clothing, help with basic needs, and there is always someone to talk to when you have a question. I saved their number to my phone not only so that I can have it handy but also so that when they call me, I know it is a call from someone who cares about me and my success.

It can be very difficult to ask for help or even admit to yourself that you need a hand; but, what I have found is that they really care about me and want me to have this chance to get the education I need for a career. What I want is for my five young kings to see me succeed and be proud of me. I am already proud of myself.

When things get tough, I remind myself that I am in the Class of 2023. That is my goal and I have the support to take it a step at a time to get there.

Thank you to Family Scholar House and ECTC and thank you to those supporting this program. I know there are so many other students like me who can benefit and then give back to our community.

Nicole Livingston is an Elizabethtown Community and Technical College student.

Nicole Livingston is an Elizabethtown Community and Technical College student.