Kierstyn Boddy, 20 and 86-year-old Patricia Jackson make up part of four generations of Lorain County Community College graduates. Boddy will graduate this May, 50 years after her great-grandmother Jackson graduated in 1967, after she returned to school at age 34 with five children.
Jackson, her son (Boddy’s grandfather), her granddaughter (Boddy’s mother) and Boddy make up just some of the family members who graduated from LCCC. Jackson said she feels honored to have been part of one of the first graduating classes from the school.
“I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to Lorain County,” Jackson said about the school.
Jackson received her associate degree in teaching from LCCC and five years later received her bachelor’s from Kent State University. “It was a surprise because when I was much younger I used to dream of being a teacher and I never thought it could happen. And LCCC made it happen.”
Boddy, the oldest great-granddaughter, will complete her associate degree in police science and a one-year technical certificate in digital forensics. “I want to do something in law enforcement because I want to do everything I can to help people and make them feel safer.” She has also completed an internship with the Elyria police department.
“I chose LCCC because it’s close to home,” Boddy said. She also was a scholarship recipient.
When Jackson was younger, she saw women going to college as a new possibility. Jackson’s message for current and future students who face some of the same challenges she had was
“Don’t give up hope just because you’re a little bit older…Your age has nothing to do with it if you have the desire to go to college.”
Jackson and her family are excited to attend this year’s commencement, she said. The great-grandmother remembers when she was on campus celebrating her graduation five decades ago. It rained that day in the courtyard, she said.
After she completed her degree, Jackson taught for 27 years before she worked for 20 years in her second career in real estate after her husband died 31 years ago. She’s since thrived as a retired senior volunteer and has completed community members’ taxes for 23 years, in addition to her volunteer work in area blood drives.
Even though she’s grown major roots in the area, her younger years didn’t start out in Lorain County. Jackson grew up in New York City, before moving to Lorain during junior high school. Today their big close-knit family resides in Elyria.
Jackson prides herself on being part of one of the first LCCC classes to earn a degree, she said. LCCC was granted a charter July 15, 1963. During the next year Lorain County citizens supported a 1.25 mil levy to provide funding for the college. The Lorain School of Technology was incorporated into LCCC as well in 1964, and the first classes were held in rented facilities that summer. In its first fall of operation, 1,006 students registered for credit classes at LCCC. In 1966, the college moved to its current location on North Abbe Road, in Elyria, making LCCC the first community college in Ohio to have a permanent campus.