“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” — Napoleon Hill
What might it be like, during a difficult, painful time in your life when you feel a lack of hope and believe that a formal education is unattainable for you as an individual, to come into a PVCC office simply for some career counseling (not to find anything you love to do, which you don’t think is possible, but just for help to find “a job”) and to then find yourself (as a “non-traditional” student) earning your Associate in Arts and Associate in General Studies and to be heading for your BS in Nonprofit Leadership and Management — with a minor in Communication? Bev Plested may be able to tell you!
Along with the quite notable accomplishment of earning this double degree, Bev threw herself into campus involvement. She served as a Peer Mentor, participated twice in the Global Leadership Retreat (the second time as a Peer Leader) and had fun while gaining confidence and skills in the Outdoor Adventure Club (“I love outdoor activities: hiking, swimming, camping, rock climbing…but my new favorite activity is kayaking!). Bev also found time to work in Advising for two years and then in the Admissions office.
At the beginning of this educational journey, Bev “felt alone, lost, and worthless. I believed I had nothing to offer professionally.”
Bev credits the counseling department at PVCC for helping her to “name my life dreams and passions.” When she described those, the counselor exclaimed there was “a degree for that!” Bev recounts how the counselor “believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and laid out a path for me to follow.” She said she did her best to begin “as carefully as possible, often blindly.” After proceeding to successfully form connections with additional mentors at PVCC, here she is, Bev tells us, “humbly but proudly graduating” saying that now it’s “easy to stand straight and confident knowing I have much to offer the world” with the goal, which has blossomed from this new-found optimism, of contributing to “positive social change.”
The future? “I intend to create an organization serving young adults, specifically those aging out of the foster system, to help them get the love, support, and tools to thrive in life.” As part of her desire to give to others, Bev references the ways in which her own past experiences and life challenges may enable her to “bring patience and compassion” to students who are enduring struggles of their own.