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RCC provided student with confidence, academic foundation

Amanda Holbrook

RCC really is where it all started for me,” says Amanda Holbrook. “If it weren’t for Rogue, I don’t know where I’d be. Now I have all these hopes and dreams for my future.”

Holbrook, who graduated in 2009 from RCC with an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree, went on to Southern Oregon University. She graduated in December 2011 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with minors in Spanish and psychology.

Currently she’s working on her master’s degree in social work at Portland State University. Before coming to RCC, she’d worked two years at a Medford manufacturing plant.

“I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere, with no benefits, and no career goals,” she recalled. “I had a lot of fear around having dropped out of high school. I wasn’t sure I could handle a university.”

At RCC, she said, the small class sizes and one-on-one interactions with instructors and counselors soon helped her realize she was a stellar student with bright prospects.

“The best thing about RCC was gaining confidence in myself and an academic foundation in writing, math, social studies,” said Holbrook, who graduated with a 3.7 GPA. “I felt very prepared for SOU.” She also grew into a “career mindset.”

“Being a student worker in the RCC Counseling Department provided me with strong role models who were professional and compassionate,” she said. “I’m very grateful for Rogue.”

Taking RCC workshops on scholarship writing and interview skills paid off when Holbrook received a Ford Family Foundation scholarship that provided up to $10,000 a year for her undergraduate education. And by maintaining a 3.6 GPA, she has stayed eligible for the same scholarship support for graduate school.

Holbrook is enjoying her graduate program, where she is part of a 27-student cohort. Her goal is to do social work in the medical field, “so I can give back to the community.”

“I’d wanted to be nurse, but I can’t stand blood,” she said laughing. Holbrook also works part-time at OnTrack Addiction Recovery Programs, where she advocates for RCC with clients.

“I tell them Rogue’s a great place to start rebuilding their lives.” Speaking about her life now and her goals for the future, Holbrook clearly holds an attitude of gratitude.

“Thank you, RCC, for keeping true to your mission,” she said.

Have a story idea for the website? Please E-mail Rand Hill