Journey to Commencement: Rochelle S. Gordon

Journey to Commencement: Rochelle S. Gordon

Commencement is right around the corner! We are thrilled to highlight some of our upcoming graduates and share their stories, in their own words, with our Journey to Commencement series.

Today’s feature is Rochelle S. Gordon, a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

Over thirty years ago, I was a Business major at Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas. However, I did not complete my degree. After getting married and raising a family, I worked at a number of customer service jobs.

In 2018, I was in a bad car accident by a drunken driver and sustained brain and body injuries. Due to my injuries, I had to learn how to walk and talk all over again. I was determined to get better to take care of my family. It was a long road to recovery, but I survived. Once I recovered, I went back to work and got a certificate for Medical Billing & Coding. I put my oldest two girls through college and raised my youngest daughter, who is now getting ready to go to college.

A couple years later, my two oldest daughters received their degrees. This is was what made me decide to complete what I had started over 30 years ago. However, then the pandemic hit. My daughter said “Mom you can do this.” But I was scared because so many years had gone by. However, I stepped out on faith and decided to attend Peirce College to complete my studies. Along the way, I had to deal with several challenges, including raising a teenager, helping to care for my elderly mother, and working full-time at City Council.

In terms of my career advancement, I was the Administrative Assistant for Councilman Derek Green when I began my studies at Peirce College. The Chief of Staff, Sharon Vaughn, my mentor, encouraged me to go back to school. She said that she was going to retire in a couple years, and she would like to see me as the Chief of Staff to a Council Member. My goal was to be a supervisor and an effective leader. Since then, Councilman Green resigned to run for mayor, Sharon became a Councilwoman-at-Large, and I am now the Office Manager/Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Sharon Vaughn! The education that I have received at Peirce College has helped me in my new role. It will also be beneficial once my career in City Council is over.

Through my academic journey, I received a tremendous amount of support from the staff at Peirce College. I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for all of those who supported me on my journey. In particular, I would like to thank my counselor, Ms. Devon Vargason, and all of my professors who encouraged me to keep pushing. I would like to give special thanks to Professor Kevin Jordan, who saw my growth as I took my journey. I will always remember him saying “You start out strong, and you finish strong.” I also want to give special thanks to my family for being so supportive. I’m a survivor because I made it!!!!

– Rochelle S. Gordon

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