Tracey Price of Pink Hill did not know how much her life would change when she walked on Lenoir Community College’s campus. She had lived with a methamphetamine addiction for many years, and was completing community service at LCC when opportunity knocked.
A chance meeting with someone on campus turned into an educational journey. Two years later, she is graduating from LCC with a two-year Associate degree in Human Services Technology with a Mental Health concentration.
The 47-year-old said her journey has not been easy and her road to recovery started before that fateful day when someone took the time to ask her about going to college.
Price said in June 2009 she decided to “get clean” and through Alcohol Anonymous (AA) she was introduced to a higher power (God). “Staying clean is the hard part,” she said.
Two months later she enrolled at LCC taking a Certified Nurse’s Assistant program through Continuing Education where she met Iris Edwards. “She was a breath of fresh air, this woman truly knew God. I had never met anyone like her who was always happy and positive. I finished the class with an A, but couldn’t afford to take the state exam.”
She said she went to work at Putman Family Farms. “Mr. Richard Putman who is deceased now took me under his wing. He gave me a chance,” she said.
A single mother of a 17-year-old daughter and a 22-year-old-son, she didn’t know where her life was heading and so she said she just prayed. “I remember driving back from a recovery meeting and I just poured my heart out to God. I needed direction.”
“The next day I was doing community service at the college, sweeping off the mat at the Bullock Building when a man stopped and introduced himself and asked how my experience at the college was,” Price said. “I didn’t know he was the president, Dr. (Brantley) Briley until he introduced himself. He told me later he was running late to a meeting, but something just made him stop to talk to me. I know now, that something was God.”
She recalled that he told her to put her broom down and go to the Admissions Office to see a counselor. “I told him I couldn’t afford to go to college and he told me that there was help for people who wanted to go. So, I put down my broom and went to see a counselor. I started in the fall 2010 taking a religion class and I started working here in Shipping and Receiving as a technical assistant,” she said.
“God has placed people in my path when I needed them,” she said, “and He has kept me clean. He has provided great people to help me. The instructors here have been great. I really enjoyed Mrs. (Dana) Almengor’s Environmental Biology class. My daughter, Riley, is finishing her senior year at the Lenoir County Early College at LCC,” she said. “She will be a super senior next year and will graduate with an Associate degree. We have even had a couple of classes together. The Early College is awesome and she has had a great experience at LCC too.”
Price said she chose Human Services Technology because she wanted to learn about people’ behaviors. “I’m interested in pursuing a four-year degree now. This has been a great experience.”
“The best advice I could give someone looking for direction is first look up and go to the Lord and second would be to get an education,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about human behavior and it started with someone asking me how my experience was while doing community service.”