Living with mental health issues can often keep people from choosing to continue their education beyond high school. Without additional support and understanding, the typical challenges of college become even more overwhelming.
Rachel Fredendall knows this all too well. She has an array of mental health barriers, plus a learning disability. But Anne McPherson, SC4’s Coordinator of Academic Success and Disability Services, recommended the college’s TRIO Student Support Services program, and it’s been a great help to Fredendall.
“It’s really hard for me to get motivated because of my depression and OCD issues,” Fredendall explained. “After I have a depressive episode, I go into a 24-hour manic episode of hyper-motivation, where I really take advantage of time. It really came down to the two annoying (just kidding!) people that pestered me to keep on track. I couldn’t have gotten this far without my fiancé and my best friend.”
Thanks to TRIO and several great SC4 professors, Fredendall is on track to graduate in May. She regularly spent time between classes in the TRIO space on campus, where TRIO Director Shawne Jowett helped her develop an effective study plan. She also singled out Criminal Justice professor Jim Jones, Earth Science professor Bob Hunckler, and retired English professor Cliff Johnson for being understanding and accommodating when it came to her physical and mental health disruptions.
“There are no words that can describe how thankful I am for them,” Fredendall said.
Fredendall is transferring to Saginaw Valley State University to work on her bachelor’s degree in secondary education, focusing on English and general social studies. Her ultimate goal is to become a teacher at her former high school.
“I’d like to be on a first-name basis with my old teachers,” she laughed. “After that, we’ll see!”
For her success in the classroom and beyond, Rachel Fredendall is the May TRIO Student of the Month. Congratulations, Rachel!