Mother/Daughter and Father/Son Make College a Family Affair at SCC
Employees and students alike often comment that one of the best things about being
affiliated with Somerset Community College is the family atmosphere on campus. For
some students, however, that family atmosphere is not a figure of speech, but has
Students like Dominic Melgoza and Caitlyn Huff know all too well about the family atmosphere at SCC, as do their parents, who are also fellow students.
Dominic Melgoza attends SCC with his father Dino Melgoza and Caitlyn's parents, Sreldie and John, are both students at SCC as well.
I was going through the motions, said Dominic Melgoza. When dad came in, he started getting me more involved and I started taking joy in it. Later, I wanted to take on leadership roles and become really engaged in my college experience.
Like Dominic, Caitlyn said that having her parents as fellow college students has been a positive experience.
Im so proud of them, said Caitlyn. They both dropped out of college, but had the motivation to do it again. Seeing them has made me realize the importance of finishing my degree.
And while Dominic and Caitlyn are both proud of their parents, the same can be said for Dino, Sreldie and John.
Caitlyn is a student that works hard, said Sreldie Huff. To be here with her and witness the change that has come about in her from her senior year of high school or now, makes me very proud. She has grown and matured so much.
Dino and Dominic Melgoza
For Dino and Dominic, pursuing an education at SCC proved to be both affordable and convenient. Dominic graduated from Southwestern High School in 2009 and found himself at Western Kentucky University pursuing a career in music education. After a while, though, his passion for music began to dwindle and he found himself struggling emotionally. He decided to leave WKU and return home and focus on finishing his associates degree at SCC.
Dino, a former U.S. Marine stationed in Virginia and Southern California, decided to go back to school in 2012 after receiving financial assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
When I was a kid I was told I wasn't smart and I believed it for so long, Dino said. Now that Ive come back to college, a new part of me has emerged.
Dino, who will finish his degree in 2016, is involved with the SCC multicultural club, the student government association and more. Dominic is also involved in those activities as well as the role playing games club on campus.
Dominic and Dino both said that attending college together has been a positive experience.
We work with each other a lot, said Dino. Ive had to find a balance as a father, though and alter the way you see your role. There have been moments where I have just been so proud to be in the same room with my son.
Sreldie, John and Caitlyn Huff
When Caitlyn Huff graduated from North Laurel High School in 2012, she wasn't sure where she wanted to go or what she wanted to do. Her mom, Sreldie, had just started in a temporary role at SCC in human resources and found out about the colleges TRIO program. The program is a short-term summer program that helps students improve skills needed to succeed in college, such as time management, math, reading and more. Caitlyn enrolled in the program and found that she enjoyed the staff and school.
The TRIO program helped me learn about college and what to expect, Caitlyn said. I wasn't ready for a large school, or to leave home, so SCC was exactly what I needed.
Sreldie, who now works at SCC full-time as a financial aid assistant, started her college career at Alice Lloyd College and later Hazard Community and Technical College, but ended up dropping out.
I didn't like school, Sreldie said. I wanted to work.
Sreldie started working at a daycare in Hazard and then married her husband John, who now works at South Kentucky RECC as a mapping technician. She spent 17 years working for the Job Shop, and then quit to focus on raising her family. When John and Sreldie moved their family to Somerset and the opportunity came about at SCC, Sreldie decided it was time for her to pursue her degree, which she will obtain this summer.
During that time, John, age 44, also started taking classes toward his engineering degree. He will finish at SCC next year. Caitlyn completes her degree in May and will go on to Western Kentucky University to obtain her bachelors degree, although her major is undecided.
We tutor each other, said Sreldie. Im stronger in English and Caitlyn is in math.
Coming back to school has been a huge challenge for me, said Sreldie, age 44. But Im proud of myself for doing it.