Scholarship winner wished she would have attended VC earlier

Harley Snyder was recently named a winner of the Victoria College Foundation’s $1,000 “What’s Your Story?” scholarship.

It took just one semester for Harley Snyder to realize her parents were right about where she should continue her education.

After graduating from Calhoun High School, Snyder enrolled at a four-year university where she incurred over $7,000 in student loan debt.

“My parents told me I should go to Victoria College,” Snyder said. “I wanted to do something different, but it was just too expensive. So I decided it would better benefit me if I came home.”

Snyder returned to Port Lavaca and began working to pay off the debt. Three years and two children later, she is attending Victoria College with hopes of getting into VC’s Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Snyder, 24, was recently named a winner of the Victoria College Foundation’s $1,000 “What’s Your Story?” scholarship contest after submitting an essay describing her determination to resume her higher education journey at VC.

Snyder, who is the first in her family to attend college, expressed in the essay how her parents’ hard work to better themselves motivated her to succeed academically.

“I was raised in a humble home and, until I became an adult and had my own family, I didn’t realize what my parents had to go through to support themselves, my brother and me,” Snyder wrote.

Snyder enrolled at Victoria College for the Fall 2019 semester.

“I found out at VC that there was more one-on-one attention given to students,” Snyder said. “The professors are amazing, and there are a lot more resources that can help you.”

Snyder also joined Victoria College’s KEY Center, a TRIO Student Support Services program, funded fully by the United States Department of Education. Pam Neuman, KEY Center director, convinced Snyder to take her higher education further than she originally planned.

“I came to VC just wanting to get my associate degree,” Snyder said. “Ms. Neuman opened my eyes to the Associate Degree Nursing Program, and now I am also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing.”

Snyder recently gave birth to her second child.

“It’s hard sometimes juggling motherhood and school,” Snyder said. “But I feel like I have a family that supports me. VC has been great. I had my newborn last semester right before finals. My professors really worked with me.”

Looking back, Snyder said her only regret is that she didn’t attend Victoria College straight out of high school.

“Things really worked out, so I’m happy about that,” she said. “Whenever I look at a school now, I think of getting an education and bettering myself. I really don’t believe in debt. Here, you can pay off your tuition as it comes. There’s no stress of being in so much debt.”