For 2020 we’ve been asking students and alumni of Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities to share something about their college experiences in a series we’ve been calling AIKCU Voices. If you’d like to share your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is TaLaura Mathis, and I am a senior at Alice Lloyd College. Being raised in Eastern Kentucky has given me a heart for the people of the region and a desire to help through the field of Dentistry. I could have attended any other college in the state of Kentucky, but I chose ALC because of their unique graduate assistance program: The Caney Cottage Scholarship. The scholarship will allow me to begin my graduate degree at the University of Kentucky (UK) in the fall semester of 2020. I am humbled and excited to begin this experience. Whenever I tell my friends who attend other colleges that I am going to be living rent and utility free during my 4 years of dental school, they are so jealous and can’t believe that ALC offers such an awesome scholarship. I am literally going to be graduating with my undergraduate degree completely debt free. The only items I have had to pay for are my parking passes each year. That is completely unheard of, and I am so thankful!
Ever since my junior year in high school, I have worked at a local dentist office and gained valuable experience with dentistry. I have been exposed to so many people who are in dire need of dental care, lots of these people being young children. I hope to return to the mountains and provide a much-needed service for an underserved community. Eastern Kentucky has molded me as a person spiritually, mentally, and emotionally; this is why I want to return with my professional knowledge and give back to the area that has made me the person I am today.
Besides my experience in the academic field, I am also extremely grateful for the Student Work Program. Since my freshman year, I started working in the Marketing and Communications Department. I have been running the College’s social media accounts and working with photography. This work study position helped me get out of my comfort zone by interacting with many students, faculty, and staff. Also, it helped me strengthen my communication skills and improved my time management. Even though Marketing and Dentistry are on two completely opposite sides of the spectrum, I know this position has helped to prepare me for the vigorous journey I will encounter during dental school; and for that, I am extremely thankful.
I would like to add that many people I know think Alice Lloyd College is a college for students who are financially disadvantaged or can’t afford to attend college. Yes, Alice Lloyd College is less expensive than other schools, but it is a college for hardworking students who work for their education, are self-driven, and want to succeed. Students that attend ALC are motivated and have goals they want to accomplish in the best financial route they possibly can. This is why I chose ALC as my undergraduate home and it has given me the best college experience and prepared me for my next step in life.
Alice Lloyd College ’20