Turning dreams inro reality – the story of SKYCTC SKILLS U student Heather Klumb
Heather Klumb is a 28-year-old wife and mother of two who loves to learn. She spends her time researching and reading to learn all she can. After dropping out of high school at 15 years old due to life struggles and obstacles in her way, she fought with determination to achieve her goals and become the person she always knew she could be.
Heather married at 16 years old and became pregnant at 17. She endured a difficult pregnancy, went into labor a month-and-a-half early, and had to have an emergency C-section. Her newborn spent a little over a month in the hospital and came home on a heart monitor. Not long afterwards, she went through a divorce and her life began to spiral.
“I grew up thinking I was stupid,” says Klumb. “It was a constant struggle. When I was 18, I met the person who would be my biggest supporter, and we married a short time later. He has helped me overcome many obstacles and supported me every step of the way. He kept telling me ‘You got this’ and ‘You can do this.’ He would help where he could even if he were tired after work. He was always saying ‘I am so proud of you’ and ‘we are in this together.’ That is what I needed.”
In May of 2020, Heather was involved in a tragic automobile accident with her family. “It was like my life flashed before my eyes. I asked myself, what are you doing with your life? I did not want my girls to believe it is ok to give up on your life and your dreams, so I started working on my math and reading skills during every free moment I had. I wanted and needed my kids to be proud of me.”
“Someone told me about the Skills U program at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College where I could start my educational journey by obtaining a GED,” says Heather. “I earned my Ged, but the bigger accomplishment was to realize I could do whatever I set out to do.”
“Heather is one of those people who has determination and an inner drive,” says Michelle Hunt, Adult Education Instructor at SKYCTC. “She earned her GED and completed online job readiness modules in medical, marketing and sales all in a month and a half.”
“The staff at Skills U are amazing,” says Heather. “They helped me with anything I needed, even if it was something small or even if I just needed to talk. My teacher went above and beyond for me. She was part of my support system, even helping me work through my fears and anxiety. It's great to have these wonderful people in your corner, rooting for you.”
“I was determined to get my GED to prove that I was smart, that I could do anything I set out to do. To show my kids that you can do anything no matter what happens or what you go through. I was able to get it two weeks before a major surgery.”
Heather’s next steps will be to go to SKYCTC and then to WKU to obtain a degree in real estate and obtain her realtor license. It is safe to say that she will reach these goals and beyond.
“I would tell everyone that they are not alone,” Heather says. “There are thousands of others all over the world going through the same challenges. You need to see education as a need not a want. If it is a want, you might not get it, but if it is a need, you will get it every time. It is not going to happen overnight. But if I can do this going through pain and getting ready for a surgery you can do this. Just work hard and study, ask for help because you will need it (everyone does), and it does not mean you're dumb or weak. Talk to your teachers they are you biggest support! Remember you got this, and you will win - I did.”