High school was a difficult time in my life. My mother was widowed and I was expected help out by getting everyone up and off to school. Soon after graduation, I went to work full time, got married and had a son. I dedicated all my energy to these three important parts of my life. When my son began college, I knew it was my time, but I was lost and struggling to find a way to change my life. I wanted to attend college, but where would I find the time with my busy work schedule? How could I afford it? I visited the Brandon campus where the advisor, Betty Doyle, dried my tears and set me on a schedule. It changed my life. I worked 40 hours a week at a bank, attended college at night and loved every minute of it. Every class, every semester was a gift of hope. My English professors sparked my deep interest in literature. My creative writing instructor showed me the joy of “word and meaning manipulation” and steered me toward my passion. I graduated with an A.A. from HCC, and transferred to the University of South Florida where I earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Ed. Today, I am a proud English and reading Instructor at HCC and can say that the campus is just as welcoming and supportive as it was nearly twenty years ago when I first enrolled. I’m happy to have come full circle as part of the HCC family, and each day, look forward to inspiring students, as I was once inspired.