at the Green River College Foundation
"It’s never too late to achieve your dreams.” That is Michelle Whitlow’s message.
When she enrolled at Green River College Michelle had three children and had just begun her educational journey. As she pursued her Associate of Arts degree, she began to be transformed by education, enlightened by her classes and she discovered the tools she needed to overcome challenges.
One of those challenges was math! As Michelle tells it, her strong points were English, Psychology, and basically any class but math! Eventually re-taking two of her math classes, Michelle was beginning to feel defeated by the subject. It was not until she had instructor Pam Reising for a hybrid class that she began to turn the corner. “Pam had a huge impact on me, with her teaching style and encouragement,” Michelle said, “she made such an impact on me and my experience at Green River, and she probably doesn’t even know it!”
Upon graduating in 2014 with her Associate of Arts degree at the age of 41, Michelle set her sights on attending WSU’s Global Campus to pursue her Bachelor’s degree. In addition to graduating, Michelle was also facing the personal challenges of going through a divorce.
She enrolled in WSU’s online program and continued to balance home life and school life. Each day she would get her kids off to school, and then hop on her computer and do her school work. During her time at WSU, Michelle re-married and had her fourth child! So much had happened during that time, but Michelle kept her education as her top priority. She even travelled the country to numerous leadership conferences in her role as a Student Senator. She proudly graduated Suma Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in 2017.
Today Michelle works for the State of Washington, Department of Children, Youth and Family Services, as a Social Worker. Next, she plans to pursue her Master’s Degree in Social Work at UW!
With all the experience that she has had navigating her educational path and the example that she has set for her children, Michelle’s daughter is now attending Green River, in the Natural Resources Program, and she is able to help her with navigating Financial Aid, and registering for classes. The sky is the limit for Michelle and her family!