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Holly White was very sick after high school – too ill to go away to college. She was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID), and chronic Lyme disease and was experiencing seizures, short-term memory issues, chronic fatigue, and other serious health problems.
She decided to attend Harford Community College and found Dawn Volkart in Disability Support Services to be very good at getting her the help she needed to succeed. After providing the College with information that documented her disability, Holly was provided with such special accommodations as note takers, extra test time, and her instructors were notified that she should be allowed to have food and water in the classroom, and get up and walk around during class, if necessary. Although it took her 5 ½ years, Holly, through great determination, earned an A.A. Degree in Photography and then completed a noncredit certificate in Print Graphic Design.
Holly is very satisfied with the education she received at HCC and said her instructors were enthusiast and made her excited about what she was learning. She especially enjoyed taking a photography class with Chris Heard, who is passionate about his work and inspires his students to want to take great photos as well. When she started at the College, she was surprised at the size of the Visual, Performing and Applied Arts program and the number of people who were interested in the arts. She enjoyed seeing student art on display on campus and exhibited two of her own photographs in a student exhibition in the Student Center. In addition, she had two pieces chosen for Harford County Public Schools’ Journey Series, one of which placed third out of 90 entries.
Because of her health, part-time work is the perfect solution for her at this time. She is currently a part-time graphic designer in the College’s Marketing and Public Relations department. She is grateful that she is able to work a flexible schedule.
“I have hosted a few blood drives for the Red Cross to bring awareness, as my treatment for CVID would not be possible without regular donations,” said Holly. A 4-H alumna, Holly also enjoys horseback riding and is a member of the Harford County Horse Show Association. From April to November, she shows horses at two to three events per month in Harford and/or Baltimore counties. In addition, Holly is a volunteer for Pets on Wheels and she takes her dog to Rock Spring Village, an assisted living facility, to visit with residents. In most cases, residents must give up their pets when they go into assisted living and they miss them. The residents adore her dog and their family members enjoy the visits as well since it provides a nice distraction and gives them something new to talk about with their loved one.
“I’ve told a lot of people to consider coming here first, especially if they are undecided about their future. Even if traditional college classes are not for you, there are plenty of other options available.”
In the future, Holly hopes to start her own business designing wedding invitations from the comfort of her home.
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Bel Air, MD 21015-1627
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