by Kelly Cox
Prior to 2008, Lindette Hendricks was fairly settled. She was enjoying her career as a mortgage settlement agent, helping to raise her family, and managing her time as a self-employed mother. Then her environment changed.
“In 2008 when the mortgage industry collapsed, so did my business,” Hendricks said. “I basically went from making a good living to none at all overnight.”
With her industry in jeopardy, Hendricks made the decision that she needed to return to school. When a friend recommended Montgomery County Community College’s computer networking program, Hendricks jumped at the opportunity, although it proved to be a rocky transition into a tough field of study.
“I always thought that I was good on computers. But what I thought computer networking was and what it actually is, they were two different things,” Hendricks confessed. “So when I started computer classes in my second semester it was really hard and on several occasions I was thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to continue, and I really struggled with the idea of changing my major.”
Instead, Hendricks threw herself into school and focused her energy on succeeding in the world of computer networking. It was the reality of her circumstances and the support of MCCC faulty that cemented her choice to continue.
“More than anything what kept me in tune was my need to learn how to do something that I could earn a living with…and a big part of it was my professors letting me know that it wasn’t above my head,” Hendricks said. “It wasn’t an easy subject to learn but they recognized the type of student that I was and that I would eventually be able to grasp it and do well.”
Hendricks’ hard work and dedication is what drove her forward. She spent her free time studying and getting her work done, as she pushed herself to do the best job that she could.
“I didn’t grasp it immediately so I had to read it multiple times and study a lot just to get a good understanding,” Hendricks shared. “So I really needed to work to understand it. And then once I started getting A’s it became that I wanted to keep getting A’s…with the time that I had, I did my work in order to get it done at the level I wanted to get it done.”
Hendricks’ scholarly pursuits have also doubled as motivation for her son, a 16-year-old high school student, proving that academic excellence runs in the family.
“My son does really well,” Hendricks mentioned. “It’s been good for me to be a student at the same time that he’s a high school student because it’s like if I can do it, he can definitely do it.”
Although classes are technically finished for the spring, Hendricks is staying busy by studying to pass the CCNA, a certification test for computer networking which she is scheduled to take at the end of June. But first, Hendricks plans to bask in her hard work coming to fruition on graduation day, and at the Student Awards Banquet where she will receive the Academic Deans award.
“My last year of high school, I was pregnant with my oldest son, so I didn’t walk then, I just got my diploma. I’m getting to do some things that I didn’t get to do when I was younger,” Hendricks recalled. “So I’m taking advantage of all the little things like decorating my cap. I’m a member of Phi Theta Kappa and I get to wear all of the regalia so I’m super excited.”
For Hendricks, her hard work and success at MCCC is a victory that she wants to share with her family, and that she’s excited to celebrate.
“My family has had to give up time and my attention and they’ve done that so I can basically focus and concentrate on being a student. My husband works two jobs so that I can do this…and graduation will be great. Everybody feels like they have a little piece of it because they helped me get there.”
Hendricks has been accepted at Arcadia University with a full scholarship to finish her degree; however she’s still deciding on her next step. Whether she returns as a full-time student or a part-time student, school is now a permanent fixture in her life.
“I’m going to be continually taking classes,” Hendricks said. “I’ve pretty much determined that I’m going to be a student for the rest of my life just to stay up to date with the new technology.”
With a lifetime of learning ahead of her, it’s a good thing that Hendricks knows exactly how to excel in a classroom.