Meet Cathleen McGee
I began my educational journey at age thirty-five when I decided to study for my GED at BMCC. I did not receive my high school diploma because I was in and out of foster homes my early teen years then began living on my own at age 15. I went through the ninth grade before dropping out. I was abusing drugs and bouncing from place to place until I met and married my husband in 1988.
Through the years, my self-esteem developed enough that I began believing I could pass the GED tests so I went to the Milton-Freewater campus to take the classes. With each test I passed, my confidence grew until I found myself as a serious, successful student.
I received my GED in 1996. My sons were six and seven years old. In 2000, I began working on my A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education. As a forty year old student, I was nervous about being the only “old” student there. I was surprised to discover that many people my age and older attended B.M.C.C.
With support and encouragement from many of the staff at B.M.C.C, I received my degree in 2004 with High Honors. I was hired by Umatilla County Head Start three weeks after I graduated. At 43 I began my dream job, working with families and teaching young children! I am currently in my sixth year as a preschool teacher and am loving every minute of it.
I am a student once again. I am taking classes from Portland State University. I hope to have my Bachelor’s degree in Social Science with a minor in ECE by Spring of 2012. I will be 53 years old!
I call myself a “Late Bloomer.” My motto is and has been throughout my educational journey: “Better Late Than Never!”