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'I Will Achieve Anything I Dream Of'

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NWTC Student Support Specialist Katie Smullen and student Victoria Jacquart
NWTC Student Support Specialist Katie Smullen and student Victoria Jacquart

As a teenager, Victoria Jacquart left home and dropped out of high school. She babysat to make ends meet.
Jacquart knew she wanted more, however. “I know that as long as I put my mind to it, I will achieve anything I dream of,” Jacquart said.

She went back to school to earn an HSED, then enrolled in the Business Management program at NWTC-Sturgeon Bay. With support from Invest • Dream • Achieve – a collaboration between the Women’s Fund of Door County and NWTC— Jacquart is changing her life. “It means so much to me. It makes me feel like I can help myself get somewhere,” she said. 

Invest • Dream • Achieve began in fall 2018 with the purpose of helping women living in Door County achieve their goals through education, financial stability and career exploration. A $200,000 grant from the Women’s Fund of Door County, a fund of the Door County Community Foundation, made this program possible.

“The Women’s Fund of Door County is excited to be partnering with NWTC to offer the Invest • Dream • Achieve program to Door County women,” said Jennifer Moeller, chair of the Women’s Fund of Door County. “This program encourages students to invest in themselves by pursuing this unique educational opportunity toward career development with the goal of empowering participants to create a joy-filled future built on a strong financial foundation.”

NWTC Student Support Specialist Katie Smullen said, “We do everything in our power to make students like Victoria successful. We are so grateful to the Women’s Fund of Door County. Their generosity is making a difference for our students’ lives.”

Fifteen students, including Jacquart, started the inaugural group in fall 2018. Fourteen stayed with it the entire semester and re-enrolled at NWTC for the spring semester. Six more students recently joined the program.
The program teaches real world skills. For example, students set up savings accounts and must deposit at least $20 a month. The Women’s Fund grant matches deposits two to one up to $120 a month while students are part of the program. Students have made good use of the system: each now has an average of more than $800 in her account.

Jacquart said the program offers more than funds. “It gives me a great way of knowing that I can save for things future-wise. And to work with people beside me who are going through the same type of situations. It allows me to connect with them.”

Smullen says Jacquart represents many women in the program. “She is learning to be financially ready for her future. With this incredible community of support and strong spirit, Victoria is earning A’s and B’s in her classes at NWTC. This young lady knocks down any hurdle thrown in her way.”

In addition, students who successfully completed their first semester in the program with a 2.0 or higher GPA received a $300 stipend and will continue to receive that each semester as they maintain good grades. “We owe our success to not only the Women’s Fund of Door County, but also our students,” Smullen said. They are the ones who balance family, work and school. We are very proud of you.”

As for Jacquart, she has big plans. “[I] will continue on with Business Management,” she said. “Then I may want to continue on and start my own business or help someone else with 
their business.”  

Learn more at nwtc.edu/doorcountywomendream