Sherrita Clark works two part-time jobs, is raising three children, and is enrolled at Danville Community College. As a scholarship recipient, Clark was the guest speaker for theFoundation’s annual fundraiser Hats & Horses held May 7, 2022. Here is her story, -Picking a career and how to pay for it.
Sherrita Clark is like many people wanting a college education, but unfortunately find it difficult to secure funding. After achieving several degrees, more education was critical for her to reach her career goals.
One might ask, why would someone with several degrees still be in need of a scholarship.
“Due to pursuing many career possibilities, I had exhausted my financial aid,” said Sherrita Clark.
Clark is no different from students fresh out of high school, wondering who they want to be as a successful adult. After graduating from Halifax County High School in 2006 with an advanced diploma, her college goals were placed on hold until her children were old enough for daycare. Clark is the proud mother of two daughters and one son: Serenity is 15 years old , James 14 years old, and MarLaysha who is eleven years old.
“Since high school, I’ve jumped from program to program trying to find where I fit in. However, no one told me I would eventually run out of financial aid,” said Clark.
Once she transferred to ODU, she learned she had a limited amount of monies available.
“When I graduated from ODU, I had more debt than I expected. Once I realized that I owed that amount of money, I felt like I was done with school, because I couldn’t afford it,” said Clark.
This pushed Clark to step out of her comfort zone and seek-out scholarship opportunities. It was not in her nature to ask for help. Clark was raised by her single mother and witnessed her mother tackle every obstacle in life on her own.
“I have drilled it into my three children’s heads, if you need help, ask for it, there is no shame in it. I’d never applied my own advice until my daughter, Serenity pointed out that flaw,” said Clark.
Following the wise advice of her daughter, Clark has been awarded scholarships via theFoundation to further her education.
Clark earned two Associate Degrees from Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC): Administrative Support Technology and General Studies. In 2015, she transferred to Old Dominion University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership with a minor in Human Services.
Currently, Sherrita Clark is enrolled at Danville Community College earning her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with the goal of owning and operating a 24-hour daycare center in the community. Once she completes this degree in the Spring of 2023, she intends to take a few more business classes to facilitate her dream.
“I would like to give back to others and tell them, never let your pride or situation stand in the way of becoming great,” said Sherrita Clark.
Clark is employed by Old Dominion University (ODU) as the Community Engagement Assistant and she is the Program Support Specialist for the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC).