Age, Pandemic Haven’t Slowed Non-Traditional Student Walson As She Chases Her Passion At GTCC

Published on: June 29, 2021
Edith Walson Early Childhood Education student

For decades Edith Walson has worked with preschool age children. It has been a lifelong passion for her, a passion she fueled by volunteering in her church and with refugee children in the AmeriCorps program.

Now, with her own children grown and out on their own, the 61-year-old Walson has embarked on the next step in pursuing her passion: the Early Childhood Education program at Guilford Technical Community College.

“My motivation to work with young children comes from watching them blossom into adulthood, knowing that you also contributed to their success in life,” said Walson. “I also enjoy the innocence of children.”

Walson began her GTCC journey just before the nation entered the COVID-19 pandemic. She refused to let the pandemic be more than a bump in the road, though.

“The pandemic was a big challenge and a life lesson to me. When all the classes were transferred online, I was forced to face the challenge of working on the computer with limited skills.” said Walson. “The pandemic also allowed me some time to pause and focus on myself and my challenges and finding ways to conquer them.”

Her once-limited computer competency is the perfect example of how Walson stepped up to the pandemic challenges.

“I did not receive or ask for help with my computer challenges,” she said. “I asked many questions though and tried to learn by figuring it out by myself. My teachers were very patient and worked with me at my pace, allowing me time to work on my papers and turn them in on time.”

Walson has also been amazed and grateful for the help GTCC and its staff provides in helping students find the financial resources to fund their dreams.

“For those who think they cannot afford their education at GTCC, they will be surprised at how much they can get with Titan Link,” said Walson, referring to the program that provides GTCC students with resources in difficult situations. She received Titan Link funds to help with tuition and books.

“Attending school at GTCC would not have been possible without the assistance and help I have received over time for my program.”

Walson has special praise for Sybil Newman, the coordinator of Titan Link.

“She to me is like a fairy godmother who will go to any length to provide you with resources and the funding you need for either tuition, books or even a computer to ensure that nothing stops you from succeeding and graduating from your program,” said Walson, who is on track to graduate in the spring of 2022 and hopes to secure a full-time job with a Five-Star Child Care Center

“I want to thank her and her team for giving me hope and setting me on the right path to completing my program.”

With a 27-year-old son and a 25-year-old daughter, Walson is obviously a bit older than most of her classmates. That’s not a hinderance, she says. In fact, it actually helped her.

“I have enjoyed being in school with younger students. I feel very youthful around them and I think they gain from my motivation and work ethic.”


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