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McCracken County Resident Named WKCTCs September Student of the Month

Lilly Kaler of McCracken County has recently been named West Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges September Student of the Month, an achievement she never thought was possible as a little girl growing up in her native Izmir, Turkey.

In my country little girls cant go to school. Ive had to fight all my life to get my education. I can still remember today being told, you will be nothing! But going to school was all I ever wanted, said the 46-year-old Kaler. Finally I was told that I could go to school to learn to read and write and that was it. But after my parents passed away when I was 15, I had the chance to finish high school.

Kaler has overcome many other obstacles to get to where she is today. During high school, she worked several odd jobs and cared for her younger brother before she met her husband, John, in her hometown. They moved back to America, married and began raising a family. Kaler strived daily to improve her English skills and worked diligently to become a United States citizen in 2009.

In spring 2012, Kaler took her next big step by enrolling in classes at WKCTC with hopes of fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She earned a Certified Nursing Assistant certificate and an Advanced Certified Nursing Assistant certificate. But she didnt stop there. She continued her studies and applied and was accepted into WKCTCs Licensed Practical Nursing program in spring 2013.

Kaler is set to graduate from WKCTCs LPN program during commencement December 14. I never dreamed I would ever be able to go to college. But someone was always available to answer my questions. I never felt alone and always felt supported. She plans to continue her education to earn a bachelors degree in nursing in the future.

Being chosen as a WKCTC Student of the Month was a surprise and an honor, said Kaler. Her biggest struggle has been trying to balance her schedule between school and her family, and with English as her second language, it was hard to keep up at times, she added.

But in my journey, faculty and staff have been very helpful and kind to me. I am so blessed to have come to this college. I like what Dr. Martin Luther King said, I had a dream. I can say that I had a dream too. Now its coming true everyday at West Kentucky.