John Mayr – GHC Student, Human Services
A Second Chance to Make a Difference
John Mayr enrolled at Grays Harbor College with a big goal: to change his life. After battling addiction and spending 13 years in prison, John made the choice to pursue an Associate in Applied Science in Human Services, focusing on chemical dependency. In the interview below, John shares his story and reflects on how enrolling at GHC is helping him make a positive difference in the world.
What inspired you to enroll at GHC?
I wanted to change my whole life around and do something positive. I need a career, and a chance at a career, to better my life. I want to be a better man.
What do you enjoy about your classes?
My instructors! They are engaging, wonderful, and helpful. I especially enjoy English 101 and 104. We’re also learning history, and I get to add my own perspective. My favorite memory so far has been meeting the people at GHC. The staff and everyone are so helpful.
What are your career goals?
My career goals are to become a chemical dependency counselor and help people with the disease. I want to help people change their lives and become productive members of society. They are the lost and forgotten souls of our society. There are some talented, intelligent people who just need a chance.
How is GHC helping you reach your goals?
It is because of GHC that I’m reaching my goals! The classes are helping me get to where I want to be, and the instructors are with me every step of the way. Through my education and with the help of my instructors, I will reach my goals.
What advice do you have for your fellow students?
My advice for fellow students would be to always ask for what you need. Don’t accept less than you deserve. Ask for what you want, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Be a seeker.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’m so happy to have this opportunity. This is largely due to TRIO for helping me figure out finances. That’s a big one for people. The cost of school can be daunting, but that shouldn’t be an excuse anymore. There is funding. People can help. Ask questions. Anybody can go to school; I’m proof of that.
I spent 38 years addicted to drugs and alcohol. I finished 13 years in prison due to drugs and alcohol. My faith and the programs within the system have helped me stay clean and sober for 13 years. Now, I’m bringing that hunger and drive to change the lives of other people with this disease. By getting a degree in human and social services, I am going to be able to help people because of my background.
If I can do it, anybody can. With incarceration under my belt, and knowing the total feeling of loss and helplessness, I can say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can do it if you go to school and apply yourself.