Woman Helps Student on computer

Altus woman uses CareerTech experience to pay it forward.

It wasn’t her life’s dream to be assistant manager of Church’s Chicken, but as a single mom in the mid-1990s, Monica Cox didn’t see a lot of options.

After she graduated from Altus High School, Cox said, she didn’t feel like a four-year college degree was attainable. She wanted to provide for her child, but she needed a better plan. Then, she researched some of the options available through nearby Southwest Technology Center.

She enrolled in a nine-month banking and financial services program at Southwest Tech, and for the first time, she began to see herself with a career, along with health benefits for her family. That was more than 25 years ago, and Monica Cox is still sharing the story of how CareerTech gave her hope when she felt hopeless.

“My instructor was just as determined to help me succeed as I was to succeed,” she said. “Her kindness and caring during those nine months of training allowed me to build my self-confidence and to take pride in my accomplishments.”

During the program, Cox was able to hone her accounting skills and learned to work with computers. The greatest benefit she received, however, was a job shadowing opportunity at Southwest Tech, which ultimately turned into a job offer in their accounts payable division. That job was just one of many positions Cox has held at the technology center over the years.

“I was in student records and attendance,” Cox said. “I have worked with and assisted with bid assistance duties, as well as enrollment and reporting for the Business and Industry Services department in their night class.”

Once Cox got her foot in the door at Southwest Tech more than two decades ago, she didn’t step far away. Today, she serves as the tech center’s financial aid coordinator/VA coordinator. She, too, offers hope and inspiration to students at the technology center.

“I am a product of CareerTech,” she said. “I believe in who we are, what we do and what we stand for.”

The relationships Cox developed with her classmates, instructors and staff are lifelong reminders of where she has been, and she intends to be that reminder for the students she helps.

“In my position, when I speak to students, I always tell them their success is a direct reflection of how well I do my job,” she said, adding, “I am a success because of how well my instructor did her job.”

Published by Oklahoma Career Tech-Career Tech Champions on Tuesday  August 29, 2023

Link to original article: https://oklahoma.gov/careertech/media-center/careertech-champions/monica-cox---southwest-technology-center.html