Meet Jason Howell:
Jason Howell was born in 1981, and continues to live in Yancey County. Growing up his father worked at a factory and his mother completed Mayland Community College’s nursing program. The textile industry began to slow and his dad bounced from one inconsequential job to another, leaving his dad with no security, no benefits and slippery job satisfaction.
Howell’s mother worked in a nursing home and then moved to a doctor's office. Furthering her education allowed her to continue advancing in her career. She set an example for her children.
“It was not a question for my sisters and myself. We were going to college,” said Howell.
Howell obtained his GED® at Mayland, continued in Mayland’s curriculum program, and then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
“Mayland’s staff supported me through my experience at Mayland --starting with Joyce Boone in the GED® program, and great teachers like math instructor Sandy Pierce and support staff like Michelle Musich who was the transfer specialist,” said Howell. “There are a lot more people I could name if space allowed. Everyone, from the counselors and instructors to the financial aid office to the library and bookstore staff, cared and helped out.”
Howell says even financial challenges should not keep people from bettering themselves by earning a higher education.
As a parent, or someone with a learning disability like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), similar to Howell’s situation, they can succeed.
“You can step-up,” said Howell. “And the people at Mayland will help. The teachers always knew my name and helped one-on-one, there are grants to help pay for books, scholarships, and childcare assistance.”
Howell currently works for the Yancey County Department of Social Services. According to Howell, not having career options can lead to lack of monetary stability that can increase the chances of family problems.
Howell suggests that to improve yourself, your family, and your community, one should return to school. Earn your GED® or enroll in classes. Getting started with the educational process is always a step in the right direction.