Gabriella Winstead, a native of Owensboro, Kentucky, a small city relatively 107 miles from Louisville, Kentucky, never imagined moving to a big city to attend college. But Gabriella, who graduated this spring with an associate degree from Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) says, “I don’t have any regrets. I have made so many friends and personal connections. I have made a family here and I’ve grown through the lessons I’ve learned from those people.”
Gabriella recalls learning about Metropolitan College and the UPS Kentucky LOOP program as a senior at Daviess County High School. “I remember a UPS representative named Dominic ‘Nico’ Casper came to my high school for a college fair to talk about UPS and the amazing education benefits.”
Finding out that participants in the Metropolitan College program working third shift at UPS receive paid tuition, weekly pay, book reimbursement, academic bonuses, housing benefits, and other benefits was the turning point for Gabriella.
Following high school graduation, Gabriella moved to Louisville, Kentucky in the summer of 2019 to work at UPS as a package handler and attend JCTC through the Metropolitan College and the UPS Kentucky LOOP program.
Gabriella’s advice for students interested in getting started with Metropolitan College, “Do it! It’s worth it. The benefits are amazing!”
While at JCTC, Gabriella was actively involved in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an honor society for students at two-year colleges, and served as regional president for the organization. Gabriella commented, “I love giving back to the community and being a part of a family!”
This spring, Gabriella received a nomination for the 2021 Outstanding Metropolitan College Student Award, an award that recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership, work-life balance, and academic success.
Gabriella has ambitious goals for the future and wants to be a registered nurse. “I always loved taking care of others and traveling, so my goal is to become a traveling nurse. Putting the two things I love together just seemed to make sense. I am really excited to start clinicals and gain hands-on experience.”
Right now, Gabriella is attending the University of Louisville this summer as a transfer student in the Lower Division nursing program and was recently accepted into the Upper Division for the fall 2021 semester. Gabriella also hopes to secure a position soon with Norton Healthcare.
Learn more about Gabriella Winstead in this Metropolitan College Spotlight Q&A Interview and Video
Video produced by Renecia Griffie Davis, a Metropolitan College staff member.
Music in this video:
Song Artist: Scott Holmes Music
Song Title: Hopeful Journey
What has been your biggest challenge as a MC participant and how did you overcome these challenges?
My biggest challenge was figuring out my schedule while going to school and working night shift. With the support of Metro College and UPS, I learned how to manage my time to be successful. Some other professional skills I learned from UPS was communication, working with a team, leadership, and taking action when needed.
What person(s) has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My dad. He died when I was 16 and his death really influenced me to do all that I can and to always experience life one day at a time. He inspires me to do my best. I want to do well in life and make him proud.
What advice do you have for students interested in the MC program?
Try and get on a sleep schedule a week before you start working especially for working nights. Be open to new connections.
What is an interesting or fun fact about yourself?
I used to shoot archery in high school. I enjoy hiking and playing video games.
We are proud of our current students and alumni and their incredible accomplishments! The MC Spotlight is a way for us to highlight the amazing things our current students and alumni are doing. As you read their stories, you will learn how their Metropolitan College experiences helped to shape their futures and influence their careers.
We are always on the lookout for inspiring MC Spotlight stories. If you or someone you know is interested in sharing a story with us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: At Metropolitan College, we consider our alumni anyone who has ever completed coursework and received tuition benefits with us.
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