It seemed like the odds were stacked against Kathia Hynes, early childhood education major at Northampton Community College (NCC). At the age of nine, Hynes and her family left their home country of Jamaica to come to New York City in pursuit of a better life. When she became a mother at the age of 17, she felt her options were limited.
Her luck took a turn for the better when she met her husband who helped her become a citizen and later grow their family. Eventually they would put roots down in the Lehigh Valley, and that’s when Hynes found NCC.
Now a mom of three, Hynes says, “I no longer consider the odds to be stacked against me. Instead, I tripled my motivation to reach the goals of becoming one of the teachers that I looked up to as a child.”
Throughout her time at NCC, Hynes says she’s felt supported and empowered to achieve her goals. She came to the college as a non-traditional, adult student in her late twenties, which she first saw as an obstacle, especially with raising a family and working full-time. Along the way, her professors, notably Joyce Hoyak, filled her with hope. “She told her story of being a mom, of putting the kids to bed and doing assignments into the night. I could relate, and that made me feel empowered to persevere through to the end.”
After graduating in May, Hynes is ready for her next chapter at Wilkes University to continue her studies in education.
“I am grateful for my time here even though it has not been easy. The knowledge I have now has given me the power to become a fierce educator and bring equity to education.”