March 23, 2017
Tallahassee, Fla. (March 10, 2017) — Morgan Wilkerson was tired.
After leaving high school in 2008 to raise her first child, the single mother maintained the same demanding routine every day: Wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get her three young daughters ready for school, accompany each of them on the bus to their destinations, then hop on her own route to work. She split the rest of her day between two fast food jobs and often worked until 11:30 at night.
Though the hours were grueling, Wilkerson was determined to turn her family’s situation around.
“I thought working in fast food was the only way I could feed my daughters since I had not finished school,” she said. “I explained to my oldest daughter that when she did not see me in the morning or at night, it was because I was out making a better life for them.”
Wilkerson and her daughters became homeless in the fall of 2014. Despite the challenges, she stayed dedicated to her routine with the end goal in mind.
After almost a year of being homeless, she got back on her feet in 2015 and decided to return to school.
“There were times when I sat on the bed and cried myself to sleep because I knew what I wanted in life, but it seemed so hard to get there,” she said. “I wanted more in life than just a minimum-wage job working fast food joints.”
She tried attending a few schools, but nothing seemed to stick. Finally, she found TCC in 2015.
“I stuck with TCC because of the motivators that were there,” she said. “At times, the teachers and advisors were more like family that wanted more for me. I was not just a student to them in the GED program.”
She quit both of her jobs in August of 2016 to focus solely on her studies. In December, she passed all four of her GED tests on what she calls “the happiest day of her life.”
Wilkerson is currently pursuing her Associate in Arts degree at TCC and plans to transfer to Florida A & M University to study psychology. She eventually wants to work with children.
“I sacrificed a lot to be successful,” she said. “I just want people to know that if I could go through all these life-changing events to get what I want, they can too.”