Like every college graduate, Tina Heid was faced with two options. She could go on to graduate school or she could go to work. With her degree in psychology and a minor in dance from Western Carolina University, she opted for the job.
Taking a break from school and diversifying her skill-set seemed like the best plan. It was 2007, the economy was worsening but she landed a job as the manager of a Walgreens. In this job, Tina learned that she enjoyed pharmacy, managing, and working with people.
Some years later, an opportunity to work for a healthcare technology company selling equipment across the state of New York fell into Tina’s lap and she accepted the challenge. But her focus quickly changed when she found herself as a single mom, working full time, and 800 miles from family.
Tina was again at a crossroads. Juggling work and motherhood, she decided to move back home to North Carolina with her family. For a while, she often commuted to New York but realized that was only keeping her away from her daughter. Tina wanted to find a career where she could have a healthy work-life balance. The jobs she found required education and experience that she didn’t have, so she decided to go back to school.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the best decision for me and my daughter,” explained Tina.
Working full time, being a mother, and now a student earning an associate degree in Accounting and Finance at South Piedmont, Tina was struggling to manage it all. She was already thinking ahead to next semester and wondering how she was going to pay for tuition right after Christmas. She was leaning towards skipping a semester when the SPCC Foundation contacted her with the news of being awarded the Union County Women’s Coalition Scholarship.
“750 dollars a semester may not seem like a lot to some but to me it was phenomenal. It proves that every little bit helps,” said Tina.
With some of the pressure off to pay for school, Tina is looking forward to spending time with her three year old daughter during the holidays. She knows the choice she made to go back to school will give her the best life with daughter.
Written by Misty McMillan