Alvina Heath

“I love the kids. They’re amazing and I see so much potential in them. How lucky I am to get to be the one that taps into that.”

Alvina Heath

Students in the Gateway to College program at PCC Southwest have a staunch advocate in Alvina Heath.

Heath is a resource specialist with GTC, working as a teacher and mentor. The GTC program is open to students between the ages of 17 and 20 who, for a variety of reasons, did not prosper in traditional learning environments. 

GTC provides educational and personal support in a college environment, helping students get their high school diploma – not a GED – while earning college credit. Heath helps students target skill gaps, fulfill missing high school requirements and apply for jobs. 

There’s perhaps no one better than Heath to tout the impact of a program like GTC.  She struggled throughout high school while dealing with bullying and life experiences beyond her years. She was a teen mom and left traditional high school after her sophomore year.

A GED program at a local college provided the environment she needed to discover her love of learning. It’s an experience shared by many GTC students: The switch to an environment with less drama, more structure and an emphasis on learning allows them to reboot and create their own educational accomplishments.

“I love the kids. They’re amazing and I see so much potential in them,” said Heath. “How lucky I am to get to be the one that taps into that.”

In addition to her role at work, Heath loves spending time with her tight-knit family and teaching her own children. She’s also a tattoo enthusiast.

She says her work with GTC has made her a more positive person – one who feels equipped to deal with the challenges she faces. Heath hopes to show her students by example that they can overcome early obstacles and find their own success.

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