In 2017, Julia Hopwood, 24, was pursuing an Associate Degree in Education at Montgomery County Community College when she realized the timing didn’t suit her.
“I wasn’t ready for school,” she said. “A lot of life was thrown at me at one time between school, work and personal things – it was too much at the time.”
Before attending MCCC, she was planning to attend a four-year school.
“I feel there is a lot of pressure to go to a four-year college fresh out of high school when you’re still a child,” she said. “I was not ready to go away, and I chose Montco.”
Despite MCCC not working out the first time around, it was always her goal to get back on her educational path when the timing was right. In 2021 she returned, but with a renewed focus on getting a degree in nursing.
“I have been focused on my studies since I came back after a four-year gap,” she said. “I’m part time and I have pre reqs until next year and then I will go through the program itself.”
In addition to the time Hopwood, who lives in Pottstown, devotes to her courses at MCCC, she works full time as the store manager of a Dairy Queen.
“I’ll be taking classes over the summer,” she said. “I’m taking two classes per semester because I have to work.”
Earlier this year, she was delighted to learn she was a recipient of the Dr. Victoria L. Bastecki-Perez Presidential Scholarship sponsored by the Scott and Susan Bentley Fund.
“I’m very grateful and honored,” Hopwood said. “It was nice to be acknowledged with a presidential scholarship for my hard work.”
Last year, in honor of the inauguration of its sixth president, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation established 11 new presidential scholarships for students. The scholarship is primarily for first-generation college students. However, it’s also used to help students undergoing hardships.
“It has helped cover books, and I put it towards tuition,” she said.
Hopwood looks forward to the clinical, hands-on aspects of nursing at MCCC. At that time, she plans to shift her dedication to school exclusively.
“Once I hit the program itself I want to go full time,” she said. “My end goal is to be a pediatric nurse.”
Hopwood expressed appreciation for her professors and other aspects of the school.
“I love my professors,” she said. “The school is really great and Montco is great – it’s a good fit for me and they have a lot of resources for you as a student.”