KC Graduate And Republic Of Tea Operations Manager Foraker On Donating To The N.E.C.
Kaskaskia College has been raising funds in Nashville to build a new Education Center. On Tuesday, November 18th, the College was able to break ground for the state of the art facility. This achievement was made possible by the many generous donations from people like Melissa Foraker. “The donation is from the bottom of my heart to say thank you to the school that gave so much to me.”
Melissa (Meador) Foraker graduated from Centralia High School in 1989. Even though she had the desire to continue on with her education, Foraker chose to enter the workforce instead. Working two jobs did not leave her much time during her day to go to school as a traditional full-time college student. Years later she learned about Kaskaskia College and the non-traditional class schedules the college had to offer. She began taking classes at KC and in 2007 graduated with her Associate in Arts Degree. Foraker then transferred to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where she ultimately graduated with her B.S. in Workforce Education and Development and later finished with an M.B.A. from McKendree University.
Foraker, who now resides in Irvington, currently works in Nashville for The Republic of Tea as an Operations Manager.
Foraker had spent years in the work force saving money before deciding that it was time to go back to school and get a college degree. “I had progressed up the corporate ladder, but never had the education credentials to back up my experience.” It was not until she started to hire young people, who were fresh out of college with Master’s degrees, for entry level job positions did she realize it was time to return to school and get an education that would secure her own job. “Kaskaskia College was offering non-traditional class schedules and I dove in head first and never stopped until I was finished with my M.B.A.”
Foraker reflected back on a few people who really made a difference in making her experience at Kaskaskia College the best it could be. “Marty Garrett was extremely helpful to me when working out my schedule to fit everything in at school and still work full-time. She also went to bat for me to be allowed to take more hours, which allowed me to get ahead of schedule in order to start my program at SIU-C on time. [And] Phyllis Harmening was always so pleasant and I could count on a word of encouragement from her when I would see her in the office.” When asked why she would recommend Kaskaskia College to others, Foraker replied, “I recommend KC to anyone that will listen! It is an affordable option to get your first two years of education.”
When asked why she chose to make a donation to Kaskaskia College to help build the new Education Center in Nashville, Foraker replied, “I hope in some small way it can change the life of one person who just needs to catch a lucky break. The education centers are providing a service that is critical for people that are in the same place that I was 10 years ago.”