Wednesday – October 17, 2018
Daughters Inspire Katie Hinson to Earn MATC Adult High School Diploma and Continue Education
Katie Hinson was a 21-year-old high school dropout struggling to raise two young children on a minimum wage salary when she decided she needed to make a change. She knew she needed to finish her high school diploma to create a better life for herself and for her children. So she turned to Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Adult High School, (part of the School of Pre-College Education) for help in getting that all-important diploma.
“I wanted to be able to help my children financially and emotionally,” she said. “I wanted to be better for them. They deserve a mom who has her life together.”
Hinson explained, “I was in a rough spot before I reached out for help.” She and her children moved back into her mother’s home. She searched the internet to find Kevin Mulvenna, an MATC Adult High School instructor who had been her father’s friend.
“I knew Kevin could help me, so I packed up my kids, we went to my old high school for my transcript and then we went to meet Kevin,” she said. “He helped me enroll at MATC and answered my questions about Adult High School and MATC.”
Fulfilling Promise to Hinson’s Father
What Katie did not know till much later was that Mulvenna was fulfilling a promise made more than a decade earlier to her deceased father, Bob Fosdick. Fosdick had been a fan of Mulvenna’s band and often attended his performances. One night when Hinson was eight, Fosdick handed Mulvenna a letter, requesting that he read it later. In the letter, Fosdick revealed that was dying of lung cancer. He asked Mulvenna to keep an eye out for Hinson and her mother.
Hinson's daughters and husband motivated her to finish her high school diploma and further continue her education.
(l to r) Joseline, Kyle, Katie and Madeline.
Fosdick’s cancer was accidentally discovered during a gall bladder operation, but the diagnosis came too late. It was a poignant time for the Fosdick family. Hinson remembered her mother pushing ahead the date of her ninth birthday party so that her father could attend. Sadly, he died before the party could be held.
Though the memories are a bit hazy, Hinson remembers being at her father’s bedside just before he died in 1997. The experience planted the seed that would one day lead her to consider becoming a hospice nurse.
Indirect Path to MATC’s Adult High School
Hinson’s path was not straight, however. She dropped out of high school in 2007, and then enrolled in MATC’s Adult High School in 2009. She attended classes most quarters. She credits Kyle Hinson, who was to become her husband and her children’s stepfather, with continually encouraging her to finish her diploma.
“MATC’s Adult High School gave me everything I needed,” Hinson said. “The high school courses are very inexpensive. You really don’t have any excuse not to succeed. But it’s not like a traditional high school. Teachers don’t chase you around to make sure you do your work. It’s up to you.”
“Getting my high school diploma at MATC was the best thing
I could have done for myself. I had to do this or I wouldn’t get anywhere in life.
It helped me with my self-esteem and gave me confidence.”
- Katie Hinson
An excellent student, Hinson earned the “student of the quarter” award in a speech class in April 2011and the Adult High School’s “Lamp of Knowledge” award during the fall 2011 semester. She was chosen the “outstanding student graduate” for the Adult High School during her last semester, an honor which earned her a spot in the stage party at MATC’s December 2011 Winter Commencement.
High School Diploma Gave Her Confidence
“Getting my high school diploma at MATC was the best thing I could have done for myself,” Hinson said. “I had to do this or I wouldn’t get anywhere in life. It helped me with my self-esteem and gave me confidence.”
After graduation, she took some time off and returned to classes to enroll in the MATC accounting associate degree program. She finished all but four courses toward that degree before deciding she wanted to pursue studies in health care instead.
Hinson (with raised hand), was recognized at MATC's Winter 2011 Commencement as
MATC's Adult High School Outstanding Student Award winner.
Hinson earned her certified nursing assistant license in February 2016 and began working at Tudor Oaks, a nursing home in Muskego. She enjoys working with patients. At that point, she began considering becoming a nurse. Hinson is now enrolled in general studies classes and plans to apply for acceptance for MATC’s registered nursing associate degree program in August 2017.
“I enjoy working with people, helping them with everyday activities and making sure they are comfortable,” Hinson said. “I work side by side with nurses now. I can see myself doing that until I retire or die.”
Hopes to Become Hospice Nurse
Hinson thinks she would like to specialize in hospice care when she becomes a nurse. “I like to be able to help people and be there for them when nobody else is,” she said.
Working, caring for her family and completing her schoolwork requires considerable effort, Hinson said. Now 10 and 8 years old respectively, daughters Joseline and Madeline still inspire Hinson.
Hinson graduated from MATC's Adult High School with top honors, is now taking general studies.
She plans to apply for a spot in MATC's registered nursing associate degree program.
“It takes hard work and determination to do it all. There are days I want to give up, but this is the best for my future and my kids’ future. I don’t want my children graduating from high school when they are 23. If it weren’t for my kids, I don’t know if I’d have thought about going back to high school. The kids kind of set me straight. Without my kids, I wouldn’t be so far along.”
For more information on MATC’s Adult High School, visit: http://www.matc.edu/student/offerings/precollege/adulths.cfm.