By Shelby Porter, Diabetes Prevention and Community Health Promotion AmeriCorps VISTA, Tillamook County Community Health Centers
Although her wellness journey has not been easy, Jaclyn Percy, a single mother of four children aged 7-14 years old has been navigating over barriers for the past year when she started her wellness journey to pursue higher education. After being out of school for 18 years, Jaclyn was motivated to make a life change after deciding she desired more for herself and her family. She needed to be more financially independent and wanted to connect with people on an individual basis. With no family in the area, Jaclyn turned to her community for support, and was connected to Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC). “The community college here is amazing,” Jaclyn stated. “There are a lot of resources and everyone was so friendly and willing to help,” she continued.
Jaclyn had an idea of pursuing a degree in mental health services when she began, however with a strong understanding of herself, she realized she might not have the time to dedicate to pursuing a career in mental health. Describing this moment as her “road block” on her journey, Jaclyn made the conscious choice to continue in another direction rather than be stopped – “anything worth doing is hard,” she emphasized. Jaclyn goes on to share that she had to learn how to ask for help, and once she started, her pathway became more clear and “doors began to open.” Jaclyn found her niche, as she learned more about the two year Occupational Therapy Assistant program through a student resource at TBCC called “Navigators.” Jaclyn describes this as her “intellectual awakening.”
From the community support she found here in Tillamook County, by believing in herself, and from listening to daily affirmations, Jaclyn is now well on her way to completing her degree, and hopes to continue to make a difference in her life, and others. She stated, “You can make a difference in any profession by being kind, smiling, and by being your best self.”
Start or continue your own educational wellness journey at TBCC! There are a wide variety of programs available.
For more local health and wellness information, visit tillamookcountyhealthmatters.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.