GTCC Proves To Be Perfect Fit For Family Facing Different Challenges With Their Three Sons

Published on: August 26, 2021
Sam, Madelyn, Matthew and Jack Rindal

 Marlee Rindal never attended Guilford Technical Community College. But her life and family are deeply vested in GTCC and she has grown to become one of the college’s most ardent proponents.

She has mountains of anecdotal experiences to back up her support. All three of her sons have attended GTCC, and despite some unique circumstances, the three siblings have not just succeeded, but thrived at GTCC. The oldest two, Matthew and Jack, have used the college as a springboard into real-world success, while the youngest, Sam, a junior at Ragsdale High School, will enroll at GTCC this fall as part of the Career and College Promise Program.

“I would say GTCC is one of those schools right here in our neighborhood that gives kids an opportunity to do so many growth experiences,” said Rindal. “My boys were all different and needed something to help them find a career and GTCC did that.”

At 25, Matthew is Rindal’s oldest son and is the perfect example of a student’s perseverance, a mother’s love, support and guidance, and a college’s willingness to adapt.

Matthew is autistic. Attending college was a bold step. It took a little longer, four years, but he graduated from GTCC in computer programming and actually works at the college now as a custodian.

“Matthew learned so many lessons. He had classes at all four campuses. We had to teach him to use the bus (he doesn’t drive). We had to teach him how to advocate for himself,” said Rindal. “He had a couple of classes he didn’t pass because we didn’t help him. He had to learn what to do, to get help when he needed it.

“We are blessed he has a full-time job. He’s happy in an area he is familiar with.”

Middle son Jack was never a fan of school. He has dyslexia and dysgraphia. Both are learning differences. Dyslexia primarily affects reading; dysgraphia mainly affects writing.

“School was always challenging to Jack. The thought of college was very daunting,” said Rindal. “He looked at the GTCC welding program and wound up getting a welding certificate. He did great in hands-on learning.”

Jack, now 22, is employed by Brewer Equipment Company. He still does some welding for them but serves as the yard foreman where he repairs equipment and helps load scaffolding for delivery.

Rindal’s youngest, Sam, is a junior at Ragsdale High School, but will be dual enrolled at GTCC starting this fall through the college’s Career and College Promise Program concentrating on computers.

“Sam has always had a passion for computers, always wanted to know if that’s what he wanted to do in college. He will get a certificate in this and see if that’s what he wants to do in a four-year college,” said Rindal whose oldest child, 28-year-old Madelyn is a teacher.

Though Rindal didn’t attend GTCC, she is very familiar and comfortable with the college, it’s surroundings and staff. She is the executive director of the Mary Perry Ragsdale Family YMCA, which is located on the Jamestown GTCC campus.

“I think GTCC is a great way to go to college. For my two boys, a four-year college would have been quite the leap for them. It wasn’t the right fit,” said Rindal. “That’s when a parent has to step out and say what is best for them. They don’t have to go to a four-year school. You have to look at it (GTCC) and decide if it’s the best options for your child … maybe for a year or an associate’s degree or welding or manufacturing. That could be a great fit.”

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