My Motlow Story: Alex Erkkila


How does a high school dropout with parenting and work responsibilities become a college success story? Alex Erkkila can tell you how! She took advantage of the opportunities that Motlow offers and transformed her life.

Alex ErkkilaAlex is a non-traditional student with two children who realized in her mid-twenties that without a solid education she was not going to be able to compete in the workforce. She took control of her destiny by successfully completing her GED, enrolling at Motlow College, and successfully completing her Associate of Science Degree. She is now enrolled in the MTSU Mass Communications program and working towards her dream of being a television broadcaster.

A native of Houston, TX, Alex went to high school in Bedford County at both Shelbyville Central and Webb School. However, circumstances prevented her from graduating so she acquired her GED and began the journey towards of broadcasting dream.

"Being an on-air news reporter has always been my dream," says Alex. "For most of my life though that dream seemed like a distant fantasy that could never be achieved. I mean, I didn't even have a high school diploma so how was I ever going to be a broadcaster."

"Once I began going to school at Motlow though my whole mindset changed," she continues. "My first real challenge was the COMPASS Test. I knew if I didn't score well enough on the Math portion that I would have to take remedial math and it would take me that much longer to graduate."

After successfully completing the COMPASS exam, Alex entered the ACE program, which is designed for working adults. Classes meet one night a week for four hours. The pace is fast and students must be disciplined to complete the work. For Alex, the ACE program was the perfect vehicle to begin her college education.

"I took a couple of online classes first and made A's in those," she added. "That was exactly what I needed to prove to myself that I could do this. It gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to do college work. Once I got those grades back I was ready to get into the classroom. Since I had two children and worked part-time, the ACE program was just what I needed."

Alex is not content with her degree from Motlow though. She continues her studies in electronic journalism at Middle Tennessee State University.

"I am very proud of my associate's degree," she concluded. "But I know that this is just the beginning for me. This is my starting point. I want to be a broadcast journalist, and thanks to the confidence that my success at Motlow has given me I have no doubt that I can do it. I love Motlow. The experience I have had here has changed my life." 

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