Tri-C Alumna Cathy Davis Inspires Others Through Persistence and Determination
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) taught Cathy Davis to never give up on her dreams and goals. It’s why the 2005 graduate now has a fulfilling career, overseeing marketing, training and outreach as a member of the executive leadership team at the Northern Ohio Recovery Association (NORA).
Davis was determined to pursue a college education after graduating from high school, and knew she needed a school that would fit her life. She had a child and a part-time job, and needed a flexible schedule. Davis decided to research the options available at Tri-C, and once she spoke with the College’s counselors, she knew Tri-C would provide the flexibility and support that would allow her to pursue her academic goals. Tri-C offered academic assistance and career guidance, including mentoring programs and organized study groups.
However, Tri-C offered more than academic help. With support from the Women in Transition program, Davis applied for financial aid, receiving a Federal Pell Grant. But it was still a struggle to balance work, school and parenting. Through it all, her own determination, plus encouragement from Tri-C, kept her focused on her goals.
“Life was difficult at times, but every time I called or showed up in a Tri-C counselor’s office, the encouragement was powerful,” Davis said.
The support extended to the classroom. Davis appreciates the different ways her Tri-C instructors were able to connect academic material to real-life experiences, relating to students from many different backgrounds.
After earning her Associate of Arts degree from Tri-C, she enrolled at Ursuline College. While at Ursuline, she was hired by NORA, gaining on-the-job experience in advance of her 2014 graduation with a bachelor’s degree in administrative business management.
As part of her work at NORA, she is also a licensed chemical dependency counselor.
Along the way, Davis has become a member of collegiate and professional organizations, and received a number of awards and recognitions. She is a charter member of Iota Phi Lambda sorority at Ursuline, a lifetime member of National Council of Negro Women and was recognized as part of the Cleveland Browns’ “Hats Off to Our Heroes” initiative. She also works as a local and regional journalist.
She hopes others can learn from her story of perseverance, and continues to refer people to Tri-C and the Women in Transition program for the foundation they provide, allowing students to overcome adversity and achieve their dreams.
“We may have obstacles in life, but we pick ourselves up, dust off, and try again until we accomplish what we set out to do,” Davis said. “Change is possible. Keep moving forward and seek new opportunities. Embrace change and imagine doing what you love best. Keep striving and don’t give up.”