2024 Grad Spotlight: Celeste Scott

2024 Graduate Celeste ScottIn May, Celeste Scott graduated from Gaston College with an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Human Services Technology. A calling to serve others, especially the elderly, led her to enroll in the program in 2021 and she now intends to advance her education in the field of social work. 

“I plan to be an advocate for the elderly population,” said Celeste. “In my work-based learning placement in Pastoral Care Support, I have been able to foster deep connections with the elderly at First Baptist Church in Gastonia. It has affirmed that I am called to work with this population. After I graduate, I look forward to continued connections and outreach.” 

Knowing that your studies are preparing you for the career path that is right for you can often make your journey easier. However, Celeste lost her eyesight completely due to a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and that has been “a true struggle, academically.” She utilizes a software program called Jaws in order to have her work read to her and has had to learn the computer and shortcuts on the keyboard to make some of her work go faster. She cut back her course load to one class while she was learning the new software with the help of N.C. Services for the Blind, but, since she mastered the software, she has been successful with a heavier schedule. 

“I receive special accommodations through Accessibility Services at Gaston College,” said Celeste.” My professors are aware of my needs and have been very supportive. I have been able to bring my peer support specialist to my seated classes and she helps me navigate the campus.” 

Dana Rudisill, Human Services Technology program lead, has been a huge advocate for Celeste. “Celeste is a proactive learner who readily seeks assistance when necessary,” she said. “She is always eager to learn, committed to overcoming obstacles, remains determined and perseveres until she reaches her goals.” 

The TRiO Student Support Services program and the Writing Center at Gaston College have also provided great support and encouragement to Celeste. Overall, her experience at the College has been extremely positive. “I have met wonderful people and I have been given good resources that helped make me successful at Gaston College and beyond,” said Celeste. “I would give this advice to anyone who needs to hear it: Don’t let your disability stop you from achieving your dreams. It is never too late.” 

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