Lakes Region Community College
Associate of Science, Accounting, 2013
After 30 years of being out of school, Jim felt the time had come to finally pursue a college education. First things first, he needed to find a career path that was right for him.
“I took a career assessment evaluation and accounting came up in the top two ( the other option was military police). From there, I researched colleges and realized that Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) was very close to my home – I lived on the north side of Lake Winnipesaukee at the time. I dug deeper and learned that the student to teacher ratio was low. This was a really good fit for me because I knew I wanted to attend a college where my professors were available and I could have one-on-one time when I needed it.”
Jim enrolled at LRCC with a plan to later transfer to a four-year university to earn his accounting degree.
“I dropped out of high school at 9th grade and was out of school for so many years, that the idea of going back was terrifying. LRCC felt like the right place for me to start. Quickly, I realized that I made the right decision.”
With access to his professors because of the lower student to teacher ratio due to the fact that New Hampshire community colleges do not typically have large lecture classes, Jim could easily raise his hand and ask questions, or see his professors after class when a particular topic wasn’t quite clicking.
“My professors were very accessible and I was able to get that one-on-one attention I needed. Because of this, I was able to pass my first few classes. I was thrilled! I realized that I was capable of doing the work and this had a huge impact on my confidence level.”
Jim credits two of his accounting professors for going above and beyond to help him succeed.
“I had many amazing professors at LRCC. The two that stick out are accounting professors’ Ron Garnette and Mina Myers. They both went out of their way to take me under their wing and helped me greatly during my time at LRCC. Also, my advisor, Carlene Rose was incredible. She was always there for me and made sure I had everything I needed to succeed. With this kind of support, it made me feel like I had a team cheering me on. This motivated me greatly to persevere, even in the moments when things got really tough – I was juggling family and work and education at the same time, which came with its own challenges.”
With his new found confidence and support from his professors, Jim’s interest in getting involved beyond the classroom started to kick into high gear.
“I had so many people rooting for me, that I wanted to give back in any way that I could. That’s when I decided to run and ultimately become student government president. With this role, not only could I organize student events like the Lake Winnipisaukee dip while there was still ice on the lake, but I was also able to venture out into the community and get involved at a deeper level, including meeting with our state legislative representatives over breakfast. I was a 40 year old student having the time of my life!”
Jim earned his Associate of Science in Accounting at LRCC and went on to complete his Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Plymouth State University. He continued to kept in touch with many of his professors at LRCC, including his then advisor, Carlene Rose.
“When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree I reached out to Carlene and we discucsed the possibility of a teaching intership with LRCC. She liked the idea and signed me up for a semester, working alongside her in class.”
The stars aligned for Jim and shortly after, he was offered the chance to teach his own class.
“LRCC opened the doors for me and helped me enter the next phase in my career. I was thrilled to move into a position, teaching my own class at the same college that helped me grow beyond measure.”
Today, Jim continues to serve as an adjunct professor in the accounting program at LRCC. He’s also a residential instructor at the Farnum Rehab Center – an organization that helps individuals and families find their way to a life free of the effects of alcohol and other drug addiction.
“I love teaching and I love helping people. This is all possible because of the foundation LRCC helped me build when I took that first step to pursue college after 30 years of being out of the game. The education I received at LRCC was superior.”