Prof. Donald Walker Scholarship & Malakah Williams Scholarship recipient;
Majoring in Accounting.
Next Steps: 2023 graduation; becoming an accounting manager
‘What’s important isn’t how fast I go, but that I finish the race.’
“Life started early for me,” recalls West Haven resident Patricia Hall.
After high school, Patricia, now 58, began working in the insurance industry. When her Dad had a heart attack in his 40s, Mom became breadwinner for her and her two brothers, and Patricia’s paycheck helped her working-class family. She was 20 when she married her first husband, and she had her only child, Richard, at 26.
While Patricia’s parents never went to college, that dream was always in the back of her mind. She was inspired by Richard, now a married lawyer living in Alabama, who graduated from West Point. “I wanted my son to be proud of me,” she explains. Patricia entered Gateway in 2012. She continues to work full-time – she’s been with her current employer for 34 years – so she takes one course a semester. “I want to do well at school,” she says. “I approach things slow and steady. I’m the turtle, not the hare. What’s important is not how fast I go, but that I finish the race.”
Patricia, who admits to being an “over-achiever,” is on track to graduate next year with a 4.0 GPA. She credits her current husband Peter, a marine technician, to whom she’s been married for 13 years, for part of her success. “He’s incredibly patient and supportive. I couldn’t have done it without him.” She also appreciates the GCC Foundation scholarships she’s received, including the two she received this year. “They help alleviate the financial burden as I continue my journey.”
That journey includes becoming a manager because, she says, “I like to lead and help people succeed.” Patricia, a lifelong pet lover, may pursue a four-year degree, which would help her become an accountant for a nonprofit animal rescue agency. “That would be my dream job.”
To watch Patricia’s scholarship, thank-you video, CLICK HERE.