After years of working in local manufacturing plants, Charlene Damron decided it was time for a career change.

The Lorain woman accepted a buy-out from General Motors in June 2008 and enrolled at Lorain County Community College to study her passion of business and office management. A seasonal tax worker for many years, Damron is an ace with numbers and was excited to learn everything she could about the business field.

In December 2011, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Business Management from Kent State University through LCCC’s University Partnership. She also has an impressive collection of associate’s degree from LCCC. She earned an Associate of Applied Business – Financial in December 2011; an Associate of Applied Business – Human Resource Management in August 2011; and an Associate of Applied Business – Management in August 2010. She will soon earn an associate’s degree in accounting.

“I had been laid off from every manufacturing job I ever had, so this seemed like a good time to retool my skills,” said Damron.

She had attended classes at LCCC after she graduated high school, but family and work responsibilities prevented her from finishing. The buy-out enabled her to return to the classroom with a new focus, she said.

“My original idea was to go back to school for my accounting degree, which is ironic because that’s the only one I have left to earn,” Damron said.  “Once I started at LCCC, I started taking the business administration courses and liked learning the various aspects of how a business is run.”

Through all the business degrees she’s earned, Damron has maintained her passion for accounting. She plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting and aspires to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Damron’s determination for her education made her a role model for her two sons, ages 12 and 18. Her oldest son, Johnny, is also a student at LCCC, while her younger son, Christopher, is in a gifted program and planning to attend LCCC in the near future.

“Seeing their mother going to school has been a positive influence on my boys. They see me working hard and they work hard,” she said.