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Back to School


It's common to think you graduate high school, go to college, start a career, and have a family. Not everyone follows that path in that order though. A local woman took a few detours, but is getting a second chance at achieving her dreams of getting a diploma. A local college is helping make that come true.

College means Camilla Jones spends a lot of time on her laptop searching for an answer, but she says she's finding the keys to unlock her potential.

"Education is extremely important. It always has been to me, even though it's happening later," Jones said.

Like most people, Jones started at Madison College right after high school. Then she had to take a break.

"I just wasn't quite. I wasn't ready for it to be honest," Jones said.

In that time, the now cosmetologist had three children who are now all under the age of 8.

"So, they're all a handful. So, that's a whole other issue," Jones said.

She wanted to go back to finish her degree, but wasn't sure how she'd do that with a fulltime job and a fulltime time family -- plus cover the cost. However, a scholarship brought her back to class.

"It was really nice because it was a legacy donation and so someone else was able to help me succeed and I really appreciate it," Jones said.

It's part of the mission at Madison College.

"Madison College really is a place for second chances," Maggie Porter Kratz, vice president of philanthropy for the Madison College Foundation, said.

Porter Kratz says its scholarship programs want to eliminate barriers to education...including for non-traditional students like Jones.

"There are many people who are quite young, like Camilla, who are in their thirties who are here. There are also people in their forties, fifties, and sixties and beyond who come back to Madison College," Porter Kratz said.

As for Jones, she's studying to become a elementary school teacher and wants to eventually transfer to UW Whitewater.

Brady: Are your kids proud of you?

Jones: "Yeah, I'd like to think so. I think they're kind of like, mommy's in school, too. So they think it's kind of weird, but I know when they get older they'll appreciate it and go, wow, how'd you do that?" Jones said.

In college, you spend a lot of time searching for the answer. Even when it takes longer than you expected to find it, Jones proves the most important part is putting in the work to get there.

To learn more, you can visit Madison College Foundation's website.