Being a mother of three children, including two with disabilities, meant a lot of challenges for Cloay White but through support from the University Center of the Mountains (UCM) and Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC), she was able to earn a bachelor s degree and is working on a master s degree.
That bachelor s degree led her to a career that she loves as a case manager at NEECO, a foster care agency.
Her appreciation for her professors at Lindsey Wilson College, as well as faculty and staff at the UCM and HCTC is sincere. I thank you for giving me the chance to be something more than I ever imagined possible. I also want to thank my professors at all the colleges that I have attended who have inspired me to be something and somebody. The UCM has given me my dream and I now get to live it. It is an honor to be a part of something so amazing, she said. The UCM has been a life saver to me. This unit of the college has opened so many doors for me and my family. The UCM gave me hope that there was more hope and possibilities for me to achieve my life-long goal of obtaining a degree. Truthfully, the UCM gave me a future that I can be proud of and teach my children that dreams really do come true, noted the 36-year-old Breathitt Countian.
Her educational journey includes graduating from HCTC in 2010 with an Associate in Science degree in Human Services. She is a 2014 graduate with an Associate in Science degree. She earned two certifications, one in Early Childhood Education in 2002 and Physician Lab Assistant in 2011.
After finishing four semesters of college, she worked at a local day care for a couple
of years. She vividly remembers the day she went to the mailbox, seeing the envelope
from HCTC, saying she could return to school for free through a grant-based program
called Finish Up for Free. She took on the challenge of working full time, caring
for children with psychiatric needs, and taking classes on a full-time basis.
Ms. White recommends the UCM and HCTC to others. Her oldest son will attend HCTC in the fall semester. I told him the only place from there was up.
Her moving up includes earning a master s degree in Education with Emphasis in Counseling through Lindsey Wilson College, taking classes at the UCM, and then graduating in 2016. Cloay s story is so powerful because she has overcome many challenges in order to complete her degree. She is a role model for all of us, observed, Dr. Deronda Mobelini, UCM Director. This is why our UCM faculty and staff love coming to work, because we are able to touch students lives in positive fashion. What could be better? Cloay plans to obtain further licenses in her field. She also plans on obtaining a specialization to work with Autism to help her own child, who has been diagnosed with the condition, as well as other children. She may become a therapist, working with foster children.
Cloay graduated from Breathitt High in 1998. She was the first person in her family to obtain a high school diploma and also the first in her family to obtain any type of college degree.
She and her husband, Hershel White, live in Jackson with their three children.