Education and persistence lead graduate, April White, to personal transformation
Thursday, April 15, 2021
While she was a student at NICC, she joined Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and became its first chapter president at the Peosta campus.
Drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Several attempts at taking her own life. Homelessness. Single motherhood. Limited career advancement opportunities.
April White struggled with all of these crises after she dropped out of high school. But her life began to turn around when she discovered the Northeast Iowa Community College Dubuque Center and earned a high school equivalency diploma (HSED).
For a decade she dreamed of completing the HSED, earning an associate’s degree and transferring to a four-year college. She succeeded, earning her HSED in June 2019 and graduating from NICC in December 2020. Now she’s a student at Loras College.
“The HSED program at Northeast Iowa Community College is amazing. The instructors and staff wouldn’t let me give up, even when I struggled with math tests. I earned an Associate of Arts degree from NICC and now I’m a student at Loras” April said.
While she was a student at NICC, she joined Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and became its first chapter president at the Peosta campus. Her service in the organization and academic achievements – she was named to the dean’s list every semester – earned her a scholarship to attend Loras. April also joined the TRIO program where she found the one-on-one support and encouragement she needed.
When COVID-19 hit northeast Iowa, April transitioned to 100 percent online coursework to complete her associate’s degree from the College.
“With online classes you can complete your work at your own pace. I really needed that during COVID because I was homeschooling my 13- and 14-year old boys the whole time,” she recalled.
The future looks much brighter for the graduate as she launches her campaign to become mayor of Dubuque. April White will be on the November 2021 general election ballot.
“Even if I don’t win, I’m inspiring the next generation to get up and do something. To become active in the community and its governance,” she said.
April knows that success in our personal lives and relationships, our health and careers, is strongly correlated to education and degree attainment. She is sharing the lesson with her children and reflects with fondness on the lessons she learned from NICC.
“Northeast Iowa Community College truly helped me to find myself. The College has a huge place in my heart. It was like home, my support network when I needed one and, for the first time, the place where I experienced such positive energy every day,” she said.