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Hannah Tucker, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, is a graduate of Male High School and currently a senior at the University of Louisville majoring in criminal justice.
Hannah was first introduced to the Metropolitan College program as a high school senior working through peak season as a temporary ramp employee at UPS Worldport. “Throughout high school, the thought of student loans terrified me. I always heard horror stories of people drowning in student loan debt,” said Hannah.
Hannah went on to say, “As I got closer to high school graduation, I started to seriously wonder how I was going to pay for college and other bills at the same time. I remembered what UPS had to offer through the Metro College program. In my eyes, it was a win-win, no brainer.”
Soon after high school graduation, Hannah joined the Metropolitan College program and began working third shift and going to school full-time during the day. It did not take long for the standout leader to promote to part time supervisor in the deice and ramp training department. In this role, Hannah trains new supervisors, new hires, and deice employees, and coordinates the spraying of the planes in the winter months.
A short time after being promoted to part time supervisor, Hannah was involved in a near fatal car accident. During this time, Hannah spent a week in the hospital, had to relearn how to walk, and spent several months in a wheelchair and neck brace. Despite this traumatic event, Hannah demonstrated incredible resilience and emerged stronger than ever.
Most recently, Hannah completed a software design co-op position over at the UPS Air Group Building. “I enjoyed the difficulty of the work I was required to do, but I did not feel like I was making a difference in the world. I often felt isolated spending 8 hours a day staring at a computer screen,” said Hannah.
Having witnessed the social justice issues happening nationally this past year, Hannah was led to pursue a major in criminal justice. “I realized that I am fulfilled by helping other people. I never had the stomach to become a nurse or a doctor, but recent civil unrest has sparked a fire inside of me to help the people whose voices aren’t heard enough,” said Hannah. “I’m often grateful for the co-op position I received through UPS, because without it, I would not have realized what makes me happy and what will make me feel the most successful within my career.”
This spring, Hannah 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.
Hannah will graduate this December with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and hopes to go to law school. “I believe every voice deserves to be heard, so getting my JD degree and representing people who may or may not be able to defend and express themselves in the way they deserve, makes me excited for my future.”
Learn more about Hannah Tucker in this Metropolitan College Spotlight Q&A Interview
What has been your biggest challenge as a MC participant and how did you overcome these challenges?The biggest challenge I faced as a MC participant was trying to balance going to school full-time and working 3rd shift. I don’t think I realized coming into this how difficult it would really be. I struggled early on in my college career because I did not prepare myself adequately. I really had to buckle down and focus on what was important and my responsibilities. Coming straight out of high school being 18 years old was a major culture shock. But all it took was a small adjustment period and refocusing on my priorities to really get into the groove of the MC program.
What motivates and drives you to succeed while pursuing your educational goals?
My dreams keep me motivated to pursue my education and degree. The life I want to live is unobtainable without a proper education. All of the things I struggle with, whether it is work or school, become minimal when I remember that this is only temporary, but the life I am building for myself through UPS and the MC program will be forever.
How has working at UPS contributed to your personal and professional growth?
The MC program has been instrumental to my personal and professional growth. As I stated earlier, I came into the MC program as an 18-year-old kid straight out of high school. Now being 22, I can see a noticeable growth within myself. UPS and the MC program has taught me work ethic, and responsibility, it has given me confidence within myself, and it’s given me an amazing sense of independence.
What person(s) has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My mother is my biggest influence in my life. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized all that she went through to give me the amazing life that she did. Throughout my childhood she worked night shift & weekends as a bedside nurse. She only had an associate degree throughout this time, and it wasn’t until she was 50 years old until she got her bachelor’s degree. For me, it was amazing to see my mom work so hard at her job, then come home every night and do homework and ask me to help her study for tests, just to give herself and her family a better life. Throughout her journey to get her bachelor’s, she lost her mom, her best friend. Any normal person would take a break, maybe even give up. Not her though, she powered through and walked across that stage with pride. She didn’t stop there. At 54 years old she got her master’s in business. And again, as ironic as it may be, in the middle of her program, she lost her dad. But it should be no surprise to hear, she walked across that stage a second time. My mom makes me so proud every day, and I look up to her as my hero. I hope one day I can be even half of the person she is.
What advice do you have for students interested in the MC program?
I have a few pieces of advice for students interested in the MC program. First, never pay for something you can get for free. Yes, you’ll usually have to put in a little elbow grease for things that are free but, once’s it’s all said and done, you’ll be so proud of yourself for completing something you never saw yourself being able to.
Second, like my papa always said, your education is priceless. It is something someone will never be able to take away from you. It doesn’t matter how big or small or how important you think it is, your education will stay with you throughout your lifetime, never pass up an opportunity to learn something new.
Third, if it’s easy, it’s probably not worth doing. There will be moments where you struggle, and you want to give up. But always remember that the hard times are always temporary, and you’ll get through it. When you walk across that stage holding your degree you worked so hard for, debt free, your sense of pride will surpass any feeling of struggle you had over your college journey.
And lastly, always take time for yourself. Take that nap, go for that walk, go hangout with your friends. You’ll always have stressful times in your life, but hyper focusing on that stress will only lead to more stress. The work will always be there, but those times with your friends, those amazing naps you always wish you could take come and go. Take those opportunities when they’re right in front of you. You never know when the next one might come.
What is an interesting or fun fact about yourself?
With the amazing opportunities and life lessons UPS has taught me, I was able to buy my first house in October 2020!
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.
“I ran out of financial aid due to having earned one prior degree and a decent amount of loans out already. Metro College was the only way I could achieve my goal of being an attorney."
Gabriella’s advice for students interested in getting started with Metropolitan College, “Do it! It’s worth it. The benefits are amazing!”