"My life has done a 180"

Kaitlyn McKinley in front of yellow flowers
Erin Benner, angelicjewel photography

Inter-College Program student Kaitlin McKinley said she was done with education when she dropped out of high school at 16. “I got to a point where I really didn’t feel supported in school. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to. I didn’t want to keep pushing through an experience where I was really miserable,” she says.

At 17, she earned her GED and began working in retail. She also did a stint at a sanctuary for rescued chickens.

But she knew she wanted more. “I wasn’t happy with my retail jobs, and I wasn’t happy with the person I was,” she recalls. McKinley had thought about going back to school, “but I didn’t want to admit I wanted to go to college,” she says.

Kaitlyn is a recipient of the Edward and Norma Peterson Scholarship.

Read the rest of Kaitlin's story.