HCTC Forge Your Way Forward Program Gets Student Amy Baker Back into School, New Career
Waiting tables at the local Steak and Shake was not the career Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) student Amy Baker foresaw herself pursuing when she enrolled at the college in 2008.
“I enrolled with my cousin at that time and was ready to get my degree,” she says.
Unfortunately, transportation issues led Baker to not pass any of her classes that semester—effectively defaulting on her financial aid and putting her hundreds of dollars in debt to HCTC.
“I never expected to be able to come back,” she admits.
Things changed for Baker, though, when she heard about a returning program at HCTC for the Fall 2021 semester called Forge Your Way Forward (FYWF).
FYWF allows former and current HCTC students who have not graduated and are saddled with HCTC student debt to earn their way back into HCTC by relieving past student balances of HCTC debt.
“We wanted to help our students who may have fallen off the path for one reason or another and have been prohibited from coming back due to unpaid debt to HCTC,” President Jennifer Lindon says. “This program allows us to do just that. After the year we’ve all had dealing with the pandemic, it’s nice to be able to help offer a clean slate to some of our students.”
Baker couldn’t believe an opportunity like this could exist that would help her get back into school at no cost to her.
“Right then I said I have to call and see what this is all about,” she adds.
After applying and finding out she was eligible, Baker ultimately was forgiven for her HCTC student debt.
Now a cosmetology student, Baker says her life has completely turned around.
“I’m working towards becoming a cosmetologist now and I have a job waiting on me when I graduate from here,” she says. “Life is pretty great.”