JaLena grew up loving everything to do with technology, computers and robotics. Thanks to G3 tuition assistance, she was able to turn that passion into a career. She chose to study information technology at Patrick & Henry Community College and has found success after success along the way. Here’s her G3 story:
How has G3 impacted you?
Without G3, I wouldn’t be in college at all. My first year in college, I had to pay a lot. I ended up taking courses that I didn’t like and that didn’t fit me, and I wasn’t successful. When the opportunity to enroll in a G3 program came around, I was able to explore something I really liked and not have to pay out of pocket. I was really grateful because it was the only funding that I was eligible for at that time since I had used other funding opportunities years ago, even though I wasn’t living in Virginia.
I have been able to successfully balance school, work and life because I was able to get funding for programs that I really enjoyed, such as information technology. I also started studying engineering as well to support my career going into computer technician and repair.
Why did you choose Information Technology?
I grew up around technology and computers, and I’ve always loved taking them apart and putting them back together. I’ve also always loved robotics, as well as video games. I’ve been able to pursue a deeper understanding of robotics during my program.
What do you want to do after G3?
I am grateful and a little bit sad that it’s going to be my last semester in a G3 program since it’s my third year. Because of G3 I was able to get the funding I needed to land the career I really wanted.
After G3, I plan on seeing what other scholarships are available to help me finance the next step of my education. Thanks to the flexibility of G3, I’m an honor student, which is a huge turnaround.
How has Patrick & Henry Community College helped you navigate your education?
I don’t think I would have been as successful as I was without student support services. One person in particular who helped me was Frank Tatum, my first computer teacher. He taught me about networking and helped me with funding. He even made an effort to learn more about G3 to make sure I was getting all the benefits from it.