Prudence Manolov is proof positive that you really can go back and chase your dreams. After all, it was only three years ago that she found herself in a career that she was ready to leave, recently divorced, and looking forward to starting the next chapter of her life. Who could have guessed that it would be the runs she took through the bucolic Oviedo Campus to clear her mind that would lead her to Seminole State College of Florida?
In 2014, she started to pursue her Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree at Seminole State and now, she’s a recent graduate, having worked her way through her A.A. degree in the College’s Grindle Honors Institute.
“I kept walking by the Honors Institute and I wondered what it was all about,” Manolov recently said. “One day, I investigated it a little further and decided I’d like to apply. The rest is history.”
Manolov has stated that entering the Honors program was one of the best decisions she’s made. She loves the familial feel of the small classes and engaged professors, some who have gone above and beyond to encourage her to step outside her comfort zone.
One in particular – who Manolov says has been a tremendous influence on the trajectory of her academic success – is Laura Dickinson, a professor of communication at the College. Dickinson encouraged Manolov to enter some of her fiction writing at a conference where it would be reviewed and judged. To her surprise, Prudence placed second in the state for her entry.
“I was in tears when I had to present my entry,” Manolov recalls. “Here I was, a 42-year-old college student trying to achieve recognition for my paper at a conference, and I thought ‘I have no business being here.’ Professor Dickinson taught me not to be afraid, and helped me realize I had every right to shoot for the stars. It was an eye-opening experience.”
Dickinson also encouraged her to apply to a Seminole State Foundation-sponsored trip to Salzburg, Austria, to learn more about global citizenship, a trip she took with three other students earlier this year.
Manolov has carved a path for herself at the College by volunteering in various campus activities and organizations, and pursuing scholarships along the way. She has been involved in Seminole State Volunteers; she’s been a campus tour guide; she’s an Honors ambassador; and she’s been a part of the Non-Traditional Student Club at Seminole State.
Although Prudence graduated this summer with her associate degree, her time spent at Seminole State is far from over. Not only is her 18-year-old son a student at the Oviedo Campus, but Prudence has decided to stay on a little while longer to pursue her bachelor’s degree at Seminole State as well. She’s currently deciding between the College’s Business and Information Management bachelor’s degree and the Bachelor of Applied Science in Interior Design.
Seminole State College Alumni Association: The Seminole State College Alumni Association provides benefits and services for alumni as they continue their lifelong connection with Seminole State College of Florida, providing opportunities for them to network with one another, interact with the student body and support the College. To learn more, visit the Alumni Association website.
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