Southeast Success Stories
Whitesburg, KY – As a single mother raising two daughters, Deb Young found herself struggling to make ends meet. “I knew the only way to change things was to get an education,” she says. Earning her general equivalency diploma (GED) was just the beginning. Studying at the Adult Education Department at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) “exposed me to the college life.”
In 1996, Young enrolled in college classes with assistance from the work-study program. “That program,” she says, “put my foot in the door and forever changed my life.” That job eventually led to a full-time position with the college. In 1998, Young became the business affairs specialist for the Whitesburg Campus. Continuing to take classes, she graduated in December 1999 with an associate of science degree.
Young says Southeast provided an “amazingly well-rounded education.” She feels the college fully prepared her to transfer successfully to a university. The college’s smaller classrooms and relationships with her instructors “provided me with the education and the leadership skills that I needed to be successful in any situation, including the business world.”
Young worked for the SKCTC business office for nearly ten years and continued her education. By taking evening classes at Morehead State University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2005, and in 2008, she received a master of arts degree in education. This achievement, she says, opened the door to her current position: SKCTC Whitesburg campus director.
According to Young, serving as campus director for nearly a decade has “provided me with so many friendships and opportunities that I never could have accomplished without the college.”
Today, Deb Young has come full circle, married to her “best friend Mark Young who’s supported and encouraged me every step of the way to further my education.” They have two daughters, Angela and Audrianna, and a six-year-old granddaughter Brooklyn who is “truly the beat of my heart.” While she has enjoyed considerable professional success, Young calls being a grandmother “the greatest reward that anyone could ever experience.”
Of working at her alma mater, Young says, “I am humbled and blessed to be part of the Southeast family. Every day I strive to give back to the same community that provided me the education I needed to be successful.”
(Deb Young, SKCTC Whitesburg campus director)