Alumni: 95,000   Students: 16,000

Tami Bone ’17

Tami Bone ’17
Classroom Manager
Columbia Opportunities, Inc. Head Start

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Passionate. Enthusiastic. Involved.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
I was a single mother for most of my daughter’s life so I was in “survival mode”, working hard to keep a roof over our heads. I so wanted to go to college but it seemed to be out of reach. After surviving domestic violence and other of life’s challenges, I felt even more determined to get my degree. I started at ESC in 2015 – at age 53 – and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in 2017. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful for the wonderful staff at ESC. I actually cried when I got my diploma! I worked so hard but it was so worth it. I feel empowered and confident as I have never felt before. I am now eager to get my Master’s Degree at ESC!

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
ESC was the best choice for me, hands down. The staff is amazing, the program is flexible, and the coursework is relevant to the field I work in.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
On the home front, my partner and daughter were very supportive. At ESC, my mentor, Joseph Yogtiba was amazing, always available to answer questions and help and encourage me along the way. All of my professors were great. David Mathis, who taught Family Violence and Abuse, was amazing, always encouraging and willing to go “the extra mile” to help when I needed it.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
The biggest challenge was being an older student and having lost some study skills throughout the years. Fortunately, the staff at ESC was so supportive and helpful…Not just the teaching staff but the other support staff (library personnel, IT staff, etc.)

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
You can do this! You will have support every step of the way. And, when you are finished, you will feel such a sense of accomplishment. You will also have completed coursework at an excellent college that will leave you prepared to excel in the workforce.

Why do you give back to ESC?
It’s my Alma Mater!

Anything else you would like to share?
Attending ESC was one of the best decisions I have ever made!