CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Starting from scratch isn't easy, but it’s becoming more common these days.
One woman at Central Piedmont Community College lost a lucrative job and started taking classes to start over.
Now 33, Stacy Matthews is still married to her high school sweetheart who she calls superman. Matthews says her husband has been her biggest supporter in her latest struggle.
“I was with Bank of America for 2 years,” Matthews aid.
She was well paid when the mother of two was suddenly laid off.
“It was like, what am I going to do now?”
She said she spent months trying to find a different job at the bank, then just a job anywhere. She turned on the news one night and heard about a program that would pay for her to go to school and get trained in something new.
“Then I called up unemployment and I’m like ‘What is this retraining program?’”
That's how she landed at CPCC working towards a degree in advertising and graphic design.
“I had to re-evaluate myself. What are the gifts and talents that I have” she said.
The program called the Workforce Investment Act pays for all of her tuition and supplies.
“I was excited. The only scary part was the money, not having an income.”
She says they've made it work, and Stacy’s teachers say she has soared. Her student portfolio rivals one of a professional.
“I think I found my purpose in life. I feel like this is a second chance for me.”
And she plans to make the most of it.
“When you have a second chance you don't take anything for granted.”
If you want to check out some of Stacy's work or some of the other graphics arts students in her CPCC class, go to www.spotme2011.com.