Katie Reynolds' Story of Perseverance | LBCC

The Impact of Investing in LBCC Students: Katie Reynolds' Story of Perseverance and Resilience

photo of Katie Reynolds

Thanks to the Linn-Benton Community College Foundation's generous donors, Katie Reynolds, a 50-year-old mother of three and student at LBCC, has been able to overcome significant financial challenges to achieve academic success. She is now on an inspiring journey towards becoming a business owner.

After being laid off from Selmet, a manufacturing company that produces parts for the aerospace industry, Reynolds was left in a significant financial crisis. She received a letter from the Oregon Employment Department informing her that she qualified for a special program under the U.S. Federal Trade Act, The Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Reynolds was eligible for paid training to find a new job. She chose to pursue a degree in Practical Business Management at LBCC.

When her wife was also laid off and then ran out of unemployment benefits, Reynolds' family faced a financial crisis. "I still had benefits, but my unemployment check was just $237 a week. That's not enough to provide for a family," Reynolds said.

Despite the challenges, Reynolds thrived partly due to LBCC's programs. Reynolds received support from LBCC's Emergency Fund, which she acknowledges has been instrumental in keeping her dreams of higher education alive. "The Emergency Fund was a lifesaver for me and my family. Without it, I don't know how we would have made ends meet," Reynolds says. "I am totally humbled by and grateful for the help I've received."

In addition to the Emergency Fund, Reynolds has received scholarships from the LBCC Foundation to help with educational expenses. Reynolds was also eligible for SNAP Training and Employment Program (STEP). STEP participants receive enhanced academic and financial support in reaching their educational and career goals.

Reynolds' story exemplifies the resilience and perseverance that community college students often embody. It also highlights the importance of investing in community college programs.

"I believe we will better Oregon's economy by investing in people and not forcing them to choose between work and school," Reynolds explains. "What we pay for to fund these programs in the short term will be far outweighed by what the Oregon economy will benefit in the long run."

Reynolds is confident that her fellow students at LBCC will be the answer to the state's problems someday. "The people I'm going to school with are brilliant, out-of-the-box thinkers," she says.

Reynolds' personal goals include giving back to her community when she is able. "One of my goals is to take my education and earn as much as possible so I can give back," she explains. She believes that education, especially community college, should be free. "We need to give people hope," she says. "People in poverty don't think there's anything out there for them."

Reynolds's story is a testament to the impact that the LBCC Foundation can have on students' lives. By contributing to the Emergency Fund, donors can help LBCC students like Reynolds receive the support they need to overcome challenges, achieve their academic and career goals, and gain hope for the future. As Reynolds says, "LBCC has been an incredible resource for me. I'm so grateful for everything they've done to help me succeed."

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