Providing a Pathway to Earn a Psychology Degree to Help Others
After graduating from Morristown High School in 2002, Keara Thomas, of Morristown, drifted between work and taking occasional college courses without a clear goal.
Her sense of direction came into focus when she walked into the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) office at County College of Morris (CCM) in 2015. â€śI decided to take a chance and go back to college,â€ť says Thomas, who is now a single mother. â€śIâ€™m an example for my son and thatâ€™s always a motivation.â€ť
For 50 years, EOF, as a state program, has provided access to higher education for underserved students.
â€śMy experience with EOF was awesome,â€ť says Thomas. â€śEveryone there is very helpful whether they are your assigned counselor or not. Any question they canâ€™t answer, they research for you. They offer tutoring, easy access to computers and any other type of help you might need.â€ť
As a parent balancing home, work and school, Thomas sometimes felt overwhelmed. â€śThe EOF was, for me, a good boost in my confidence because I knew I had immediate help. Thereâ€™s so many tutoring services and they kept me on track with time management skills. They alleviated the stress.â€ť
In addition, they helped her find volunteer work that could be added to her resume, provided grants for books, and helped her research and apply for scholarships. They even allowed her 10-year-old son, Jermaine, to hang out in the office during school breaks while his mother attended classes.
â€śThey eliminate the obstacles to getting an education,â€ť Thomas says. She will be graduating in December and hopes to attend Rutgers University in the fall.
â€śMy major is liberal arts on a psychology track. Iâ€™m hoping to be able to help people as a family therapist. One day, I want to have my own office,â€ť says Thomas. â€śI want to take whatever obstacles people may be facing and try to make them see that there is a way. Everybody has issues but you can work them out as long as you have someone to talk to. I want to be that person.â€ť