May 24, 2016, Blue Bell, Pa.—Diahann McIntyre always worked two jobs. But, after being out of work for three months in 2013, she decided she needed to grow beyond her role as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
McIntyre, 45, of Norristown, had made a pivotal career move by enrolling at Montgomery County Community College in December 2013.
“Why not just get myself back in the race where I was years ago?” She recalled thinking, “this is my opportunity.”
The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member seized the opportunity, worked hard and graduated in May with a 3.75 GPA and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services.
In addition, prior to graduation, McIntyre received the Foundation’s Beth Kessler Waasdorp Memorial Award for her academic achievements.
What’s her secret to success?
“I was already ready to learn,” she said. “I gave it my all. I never worked so hard in my life. I have to set an example for my younger children.”
She credits the college’s nontraditional student mentoring program with giving her the confidence to keep going. Her mentor “always gave me the reassurance.”
“I felt like Montco was my second home,” she said. “My time at Montco has been a journey and it’s one of the places that I have traveled that has brought me nothing but pure joy.”
Having a “support team” at home was also essential to her continued success.
“They were so patient through a lot of nights,” McIntyre said of her children. “They were just very supportive.”
Helpful instructors, insightful workshops and “out of this world” resources eased McIntyre’s transition back into college life. In addition, she loved meeting new friends, getting to know fellow students and learning about their experiences while on campus.
“I have the people person personality,” she said. “I just love people. I’ve met some awesome instructors and professors.”
Her outgoing personality has helped her both on and off campus.
Even before graduating from MCCC, McIntyre began working a part-time position with case managers at a center that specializes in assisting children with behavioral problems. An internship there during her time at Montco helped pave the way for this new opportunity.
With an associate’s degree under her belt, McIntyre has now set her sights on continuing her educational goals, possibly at Chestnut Hill College.
“I’ve waited this long. And I did not wait this long to stop right here,” she said. “It’s a journey.”
- Theresa Katalinas
Diahann McIntyre graduated with an A.A.S. in Human Services from Montgomery County Community College on May 19, 2016. Photo by Sandi Yanisko