Edna Baisden from Logan is a single mother of five sons, and a proud grandma as well. Her path to a fulfilling career started at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College two years ago - and she hasn't looked back since.
"I was a stay-at-home mother for 20 years because my husband, at that time, was employed with a good paying job. However, situations change our lives, some for the better and, perhaps, some not so good. I found myself being a single mother and needing help in so many ways," Edna said. "Questions were flooding my mind. How was I going to support my family? What skills did I have to go into the job market with? To be honest, my thoughts were pulling me in so many directions, and I was so unsure of which direction to take."
Edna began completing community service as a student in the Excel program in Spring 2016 at Southern’s Logan campus. She finished her portfolio in just 11 weeks, which gave her six college credit hours from Mountwest that transferred into Southern.
"So, I gained some confidence, after completing the two college courses, along with some computer skills that would surely be of a great help, considering all of the technology of today’s time. But, now what? I found myself going back to school as a full-time college student at Southern in the Fall 2016 semester," Edna said.
"However, I knew I would face some challenges and obstacles along the way. But, this time I wasn’t letting anything stop me or get in my way. I had to do this! I came to Southern with a made up mind, purpose, and the confidence that I was going to study hard and do my best to earn a degree to sustain me and my family," she continued. "I thought to myself that, with all the available services at Southern, there is no way anyone couldn’t be successful!"
Edna said she chose to be a student at Southern for several reasons: low tuition cost, close to her residence, and the one-on-one help that she could receive with faculty and staff.
"Being raised in this community makes me feel more comfortable, and I like the fact that I can be close to my family and friends," Edna said.
Edna completed her associate degree as a health care professional in Fall 2017. She walked in commencement in May 2018 - becoming the first in her family to do so.
Her vision is to further her education by earning a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
"I plan to open my own business, perhaps a travel
agency," Edna said. "As you can see, my negative thoughts have changed into more positive thoughts,
expectations, and reality for my life and family."
“I am the first graduate in my generation to earn a college degree. In Fall 2017, I completed my Associate in Arts and the Health Care Professional Degree and will walk in Commencement in May 2018.” —Edna Baisden
In conclusion, I would not have been so successful, if it hadn’t been for a few people who were God sent. So, I would like to thank April Zornes, Excel Instructor for Region 2, Toni Redmiles, Program Coordinator, Sr. at Southern, and of course, Hattie Evans, my Student Services Specialist for the TANF Program, along with all of the faculty and staff at Southern. I am a proven statistic, that with the good programs in place such as the TANF Program, all TANF students can earn a good education. I am grateful to all of you, my college family because you have worked together to help me be successful and given direction, when I was so lost.