There are some people who, when faced with adversity, look to others for help. And then
there are those who pull themselves out, face life and figure out a way to move on. Patricia
Thorson suffered the four major losses in life, the death of her only child, a divorce, losing
her house and her job all within six months. At an age that most people are planning to retire,
Thorson decided it was time that she pulled her life together and concentrate on a career.
"I've never finished anything that I've set out to do," says Thorson, "this time I'm determined
to finish my degree!"
Armed with a new determination, Thorson moved back to the Ann Arbor area, spoke with a divisional
counselor who helped her pick courses and prompted her to seek financial aid. That is where the
Foundation comes in.
"When I opened the letter from the Foundation in the post office parking lot and found out that
I had been awarded a scholarship I was so excited that I had to share my good news. There was a
lady in the parking lot and I showed her the letter. She was a total stranger, but we talked for
an hour and now she is a good friend of mine. You could say that the WCC Foundation also helped
me make my first new friend in the area," says Thorson.
Her dream of becoming a conference planner is not for the feint of heart. Thorson knows that career
will keep her on her feet, be at the beck and call of clients and being open to relocating. But she's
ready for the challenge of bringing people together with good food, a good time in the right place.
And she knows that no one is ever too old to learn a new skill.
"At WCC I have learned something in each class, even at my age. I am in a late stage in life and I am
focused on learning and completing my degree. I need to do this for myself as well as for those who
have loved me," says Thorson.