Jamie Morrow has endured more than a lifetime’s worth of heartbreak. But she says it all has made her who she is today.
“Everything I went through I believe I was meant to go through,” Morrow says. “I’ve learned to be resilient and to never give up.”
One thing Morrow has never given up on, no matter the obstacles, is her education. Morrow came to Lorain County Community College a couple years after graduating from high school, but withdrew in 2008 while pregnant with her second child, Kaden. He had been diagnosed in-utero with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which means his diaphragm had failed to close, and Morrow was put on bed rest.
Kaden lived for one month after he was born and then passed away. The pain of losing a son took its toll on Morrow and her marriage. She and her husband divorced in 2014 and a new stress settled into her life.
“I was left with no way to financially support my children,” Morrow says. “I was trapped on welfare and the only way out for me was to finally graduate from college.”
Finding the right support to finish what she started
In 2018 Morrow returned to LCCC ready to finish what she had started a decade ago. But by fall 2019, Morrow was struggling. She couldn’t find transportation from her home in Lorain to LCCC’s main campus in Elyria. She was also having trouble paying her monthly bills.
Morrow turned to Women’s Link, a support service within LCCC’s Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC) that provides students with free, confidential services during life crises or financial emergencies. The ARC provided Morrow with emergency financial aid and connected her with other resources, like the Commodore Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry. Soon after, she was able to buy a car.
“If it wasn’t for the ARC and Women’s Link, I would have had to drop out again,” says Morrow. “They beyond changed my life.”
Morrow finished the semester with a 4.0 GPA and in May 2020 earned two associate degrees, one in applied business administration and the other in accounting. Both degrees were earned with honors and Morrow was accepted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
And that was just the beginning. In fall 2020 Morrow enrolled at Hiram College through the University Partnership to earn her bachelor’s degree in accounting and financial management. She’s now one semester from graduation and was named to the Alpha Society, one of Hiram College’s highest scholastic honorary societies. She’s also working at a local finance company, supporting her children.
“Earning my degrees teaches my children that hard work really does pay off,” Morrow says. “I hope they realize that no matter what mistakes you make, no matter how impossible a situation may seem, anything’s possible.”