Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations

Kristin C. Worley
Liberal Arts – Social Science Specialization

Kristin C. Worley

S-T-R-E-S-S – that’s a word that Danville Community College student Kristin Worley knows a lot about. The 23-year-old has had more than her share of challenges as she pursues an Associate of Arts and Science Degree in Liberal Arts.

Worley of Cascade first came to DCC in Fall 2004, after graduating from Tunstall High School. She had her sights set on a career as a registered nurse. She took a full load of classes and was working a part-time job for support. That all changed a year later when she became pregnant and began working 40 hours a week at a convenience store. The job meant that the expectant single mother had to reduce her class load plus be on her feet all day as she coped with her pregnancy. She developed health problems during the pregnancy and was urged to quit school.

“I just didn’t want to be a statistic. I felt if I stopped school I would never go back,? Worley explains noting she is a first generation college student and completing her educational goals is of utmost importance.

During her high risk pregnancy, Worley says she battled severe high blood pressure problems, went into early labor at 4 and ½ months, and that the doctors finally delivered her baby boy, Cameron, at 8 months. She says she remembers being in the hospital, hooked up to all sorts of monitors and still trying to read chapters (class assignments).

“He was born healthy, but he has a mild hearing loss. He was at UVA (University of Virginia) hospital for one month,? Worley says. “Later, he developed choking problems with acid reflux. He slept most nights upright in his swing. That was the only way he could be comforted.?

She also remembers that she rarely got any sleep herself. At this point she had to take off a semester or two from college to attend to her son’s health needs.

“It was a very difficult time for me, watching him, since he was so tiny with so many problems,? she adds. “The first year of his life was rough because he also had to take medication four times a day.?

Her son got progressively better and Worley was able to return to school to resume her studies. She credits loving family support with making it all possible for her to do so.

“I thank God for my mother who wants to do everything she can to see that I get an education,? adds Worley, who is the daughter of Susan Wray and the late Timothy Worley who died when she was three years old. She also says she is extremely close to her grandfather who has encouraged her to continue her education.

“When I came back to DCC, I was so excited to be back. I was nervous at first, but finishing my education is so important,? Worley continues. “I want to be able to be able to make a decent living for my son and me as soon as possible.?

Worley still wants to become a registered nurse. She will graduate this summer with her Associate of Arts and Science Degree in Liberal Arts – Social Science Specialization. Her plans are to be one of the first to enroll in DCC’s new Registered Nursing program when it is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing. In the meantime, Worley has a straight “A? average, is on the Vice President’s Honors List, and was recently inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year college students.

“I am really looking forward to DCC offering the RN program. I would really like to stay in this area because I love being around my family,? she says. “Eventually I would like to earn my Bachelor’s degree in nursing.?

Worley scoffs at the idea that she’s been exposed to a lot of challenges in her 23 years. She says her perseverance was a duty and that she received lots of assistance also from the DCC faculty.

“I don’t know how I would have made it at DCC if it were not for Angie Carlsen (DCC Adjunct Math Professor Angela Carlsen). I would have given up and walked out of class many times but she would not let me,? Worley says. “She kept telling me she was not going to let me give up. I had to do this. Also, Mary Motley (DCC Math Professor) went out of her way to help me too.?

Worley adds that many young people today don’t really know the meaning of stress, but that they let the “little things? of life worry them.

“People let the little things bother them. But so many times I was and still am stressed out, but I know it will all pay off in the end,? she says. “I tell people that if I can do it, they can too. You have to keep going despite what happens because I believe that anything is possible with God.?

For more information about the Liberal Arts - Social Science Specialization program, contact Cathy Pulliam, Coordinator of Recruitment and Enrollment Management, 434.797.8538, or click here.

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