Dr. Sandy Holbrook, professor and coordinator of the Academic Support Center at the Whitesburg Campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, presented a program on the resilience and academic success of rural Appalachian college students at the Oct. 18 Rotary Club meeting at Pine Mountain Grill.
Dr. Holbrook shared with members the many obstacles students in Appalachia face including geographic isolation, low socioeconomic levels and poverty and how they can be overcome. During her dissertation research on this subject, she interviewed many “at risk” college students to understand how they were able to overcome adversity to earn associate degrees and beyond.
Students identified transportation issues, being first-generation college students, low-income and childcare issues as obstacles they had to overcome in order to realize success.
“Sharing stories of our lived experiences in our own voices as we see those experiences is an excellent way to provide hope and inspiration to others contending with the same issues,” said Dr. Holbrook.
Dr. Holbrook and husband Jody Holbrook live in Jenkins.