One day this summer, Miranda Goodwin is going to be floating on a lake, alongside her friends, free of any worries about money or finding a job.
“That’s what I’ve been working for ever since I enrolled at South Piedmont, and now, it’s almost here,” said Goodwin, who will graduate on May 13 with her Associate of Science in Medical Sonography.
While in the eighth grade at Sun Valley Middle School, Goodwin applied for and received the New Century Scholarship, which is awarded to students who plan to attend South Piedmont. From that point on, she never wavered from her intention to go to South Piedmont, even as her classmates committed to four-year universities.
“My parents always instilled in me that it’s important to be smart with your money, and that you need to make your money work for you,” Goodwin said.
“I never felt like I was going to be missing out on something by coming to a community college. I felt like I was making a smart financial choice.”
Goodwin graduated from Central Academy of Technology & Arts in 2018.
Since enrolling at South Piedmont in 2019, she’s earned her Associate in Arts degree, as a member of the first cohort of South Piedmont’s Associate in a Year program, served as Student Government Association president, and enjoyed memorable social experiences such as Spring Fling.
“Since starting at South Piedmont, I’ve had so many leadership experiences. I’ve learned how to interact with so many people. People tell me I’ve come out of my shell,” she said.
She was also able to explore the College’s health sciences career paths.
“I want to work to live, not live to work. I knew that there would always be jobs in healthcare, and that those careers would let me make a good living. So I started researching, and sonography seemed like the best fit. It would provide me a stable job, a stable income, and the work-life balance I wanted,” Goodwin.
Earlier this semester, Goodwin successfully completed certification with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She is in salary negotiations for her first job in the field.
Thanks to the affordability of South Piedmont’s tuition and fees, as well as financial aid and money she earned working part time, Goodwin is graduating free of student debt. Now that she has a job offer on the table, and her degree is almost in hand, she is confident in her ability to provide for herself. So much so that she recently bought a new car, and she’s planning many summertime adventures.
“I love to travel, so I’m going to be doing a lot more of that. My family lives in Texas. I can’t wait to go see them. I’m going to buy a nice outfit for graduation. I want to rent a boat with my friends this summer and spend my money having experiences, making memories,” Goodwin said.
“The end goal has always been the lifestyle. I want to work to live, not live to work. I want to be in my 20s and just live, and now that I’ve reached my goal, that’s what I get to do.”
As a soon-to-be two-time community college graduate, Goodwin is quick to tell others about the benefits of attending a community college.
“You can have all the experiences of a four-year university, you can take the same classes, but you’re keeping more of your money in your pocket, and one day you can put that money toward a house or a car. Community colleges are just a smart choice.”
South Piedmont’s Medical Sonography program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and has a nearly 100-perecent job placement rate.
South Piedmont’s Associate in a Year program is now enrolling for the fall semester. Learn more here.