Investing in the future

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Student Success Story

By Andrea Spisak

Molly Fitzwater knows firsthand what a life-changing experience it is to receive a scholarship to attend National College in Harrisonburg, VA. As a high school senior, Molly understood the value of higher education to her future success, but her family struggled to identify financial aid programs that could help pay for her education. When she received the Imagine America scholarship to attend National College, she and her family felt a sense of genuine hope for her future success. The scholarship was a catalyst that motivated her and her family to seriously work at ways to make her dream of becoming a college graduate come true.

In high school, Molly enjoyed meeting new people, participating in the National Honor Society, and learning leadership and public speaking skills through her involvement with FSA. She knew that she wanted her college experience to be as positive and worthwhile as her high school experience had been.

Since Molly was the first in her family to pursue postsecondary education, she had a lot of challenges to deal with. She did, however, have help with those challenges. Her supportive family (who figured out a way to pay for her first two years of college out of pocket), a positive high school experience, and a scholarship to attend a school that she had driven by and admired, gave her the confidence to enroll and start her postsecondary education.

Molly knew she wanted to do something in the health profession, but she was unsure what program would suit her personality and talents best. Walking into National College to get more information on the programs it offered was intimidating for Molly. However, her personal fears were soon relieved because of the warm welcome she felt when meeting with a National College representative.

The representative from National College listened to Molly and learned about her as an individual. The interview illuminated Molly’s desire to care for individuals of all ages and to be in a profession that helped people because it would make her feel good knowing she was making a positive difference in someone’s life. Thus, the admissions representative helped her decide to pursue the field of medical assisting.

Not too long into her studies, Molly realized that she had found her calling. She was inspired by the passion her teachers had for what they were doing. She found many friends; not just other students, but instructors and staff members as well. The smaller class sizes and the individual attention that she received from her instructors helped her excel in her classes and increased her motivation and commitment to study and do her very best. Commitment and personal drive helped Molly achieve her goal of becoming a college graduate.

During an interview with Molly, I learned that she was graduating the next day from National College’s Medical Assisting program. While she told me her story about becoming her family’s first college graduate, Molly’s excitement about this event could barely be contained in her voice. As a matter of fact, even after we hung up the phone, I could still hear her hope, determination and success ringing in my ears. I knew Molly’s investment in her future was truly helping her achieve the goal of a better life for her and her family.

For more information about National College, please visit