THE Career Makeover competition underscores the importance of education and how it can have a positive impact on someone's life.
The seventh-annual competition, sponsored by the John Wood Community College Foundation and WGEM, provides a scholarship that covers the cost of up to 68 credit hours, or the completion of a selected degree or professional certification. It pays for tuition, books and fees.
Most important, it offers an opportunity for the winner to use the classroom to improve on or learn critical job skills to meet today's evolving employment demands, better their current work position or pursue an entirely new career.
It can also become a dream come true.
"The biggest regret in my life I express to my children is not attending college," Kathy Flesner of Payson said after emerging from a field of 75 applicants to be named the 2018 winner.
Flesner and her husband, Vaughn, have been self-employed in their own business for more than 30 years, and all six of their children have taken classes through JWCC.
With scholarship in hand last fall Kathy began her pursuit of an associate degree in business, which she hopes will enhance her employment opportunities outside the family business.
The competition is one of the many ways JWCC works to assist nontraditional students like Flesner, adults who either are returning to school or attending for the first time. About 30 percent of the school's student population fits that mold.
With that in mind, we strongly encourage adults age 24 years or older who are not current or recent John Wood students to apply for the competition by Jan. 19 at jwcc.edu/makeover. Those without internet access may pick up paper applications at JWCC or WGEM.
The eventual winner will have to survive the initial application process, being part of a semifinal field of 10 and a final round of three, while advancing through multiple interviews and other inquiries. The competition has attracted an average of about 70 applicants each year, with a high of 82 in 2014, its first year.
We hope to see that number grow this year, so apply today.
As previous winners can attest, the Career Makeover provides valuable educational opportunities that can be used to help achieve dreams and goals many thought were out of reach.