At the Kenai River Campus of Kenai Peninsula College, we like to celebrate our students and share their successes with our community. Here is one of many:
Taking full advantage of what she calls KPC’s “amazing disability services team,” Maggie Winston graduated from KRC in 2013 with an Associate of Arts in general studies and in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. KPC, she said, “enabled me with every opportunity to complete my degree locally. Any class that was not available to me on campus was available online, facilitating more opportunities for success.”
Maggie listed three key things she gained in her experience at KRC: (1) “I learned how to better advocate for my needs by requesting and receiving accommodations for equal access to class materials.” (2) “I found joy and satisfaction in helping others through tutoring.” (3) “I learned the importance of critical analysis and using reason to guide decision-making.”
Since graduation, she has continued on her path to success. “I have dug my wheels pretty deep into disability service,” she said. She illustrated a children’s book by mouth-painting/drawing. Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker appointed her to (and she is currently chair of) the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education. She also works at the Independent Living Center as a systems advocate/transition specialist and recently became an adjunct for the LEND program with UAA’s Center for Human Development.
“My entire goal for my career has been to help others, travel and make a comfortable wage,” Maggie said. “Directly due to my experience at KPC, I am doing exactly that now. I travel to Juneau once or twice a year during legislative sessions to advocate for services for individuals with disabilities, and in April I will be taking my third trip to Washington, D.C., with students I mentor in the LEND program, to meet with our national congressional delegation and advocate further. Last summer I planned the first annual Disability Pride Celebration for the Kenai Peninsula, and I’m currently helping to build a summer work program for transition-age youth with disabilities to acquire work-readiness skills. I’ve got a bomb career thanks to KPC!”
Recently engaged, she encourages anyone interested in further education to look to our local college: “My advice to others that might be considering an education at KPC is ‘Just do it!’ Sign up for one class and just try it out. If you’re willing to do the work and give the time, then absolutely anyone can get a degree at KPC. Anyone.”
We congratulate Maggie on her career path, as she continues to strengthen her own skills and make our state stronger at the same time. We are proud of her success, and proud to call her our own.
Submitted by Clark Fair, coordinator for Kenai Peninsula College’s campus newspaper, the KPC Connection.