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Cynthia Vaughn
A.A.S. in HR and Business Management

Self-confidence is a powerful tool and one that Cynthia Vaughn proudly possesses. But, as she freely shares it is a trait that has developed over time and as a result of some significantly challenging life experiences. Having worked at minimum wage jobs nearly her entire career she was actually fearful of attending college. “I drove past Harrison College for a year on my way to work before I finally found the courage to stop and ask about signing up for classes. My fear was my age because at 54, I questioned whether or not I could learn anything new,” she said, “but from the moment I signed the admission paper my fear left and hasn’t returned.”

Additional obstacles blocking Vaughn’s path toward furthering her education included her husband’s liver disease that often required multiple trips to the hospital in any given week, two adopted sons’ ages one and four and no family close enough to help. “Our family had moved from Indiana to Tennessee in hopes of receiving a liver transplant for my husband. There were so many times I felt like it would be easier to just give up and forget it, but the Harrison College faculty and staff gave me the stepping stones to build my confidence and help me believe in myself. Two staff members who were always there for me and went above and beyond what their job descriptions entailed were Diana Roach and Kylee Burton. I remember many times they called me just to see how I was doing. Never once did I feel like just a number to them. The support system I had at Harrison is like nothing I’ve ever seen. No matter what I had to face they provided me with tools to have a positive attitude.”

Having promised her husband she would continue her schooling no matter what in order to provide a better life for their young sons, Vaughn now remarks, “I feel very good inside knowing I have conquered this challenge. This is what has made me a stronger person for myself and my sons.” Her advice for anyone considering attending Harrison College is this, “I never felt like a number or a dollar sign to the people at Harrison. I was treated like a human being and someone they want to help. Not only did I receive a top notch education, but I became a part of the Harrison College family. I truly know in my heart that I could call them at any point in my life and they would be there to help me no matter what. I believe they are ready to make a difference in your life and to help you turn your dreams into reality.”

Sadly, Vaughn’s husband passed away but her attitude remains positive. It took four and a half years, but with two Associates degrees under her belt; one in Business Management and one in HR, Vaughn now has her sights on her bachelors in Business Management. “I am not going to give up. God has given me strength before to do things I didn’t think I could do and I believe He will continue to do that.”