Stacey Quarles: Staff

Stacey Quarles: Staff Photo

What do you do at the college? How does your job help students meet their goals?

I am the Program Assistant for Workforce Funding and Support Programs.

I help students by processing their Workforce Funding applications from start to finish. I help the student get the application completed so there’s no missing information, and then I help the grant staff get those students funded. I am your point of contact for the application process.

I also case manage our Early Achievers Grant. There are new rules that folks working in childcare facilities now have to have certain certificates and trainings. Our Early Achievers Grants helps those individuals pay for the necessary coursework. Case managing means that I work with students receiving the grant to connect with instructors, make or review their academic plan, and help them be successful.

What makes you passionate about what you do for students?

I have been in your shoes. I started out as a student in the WorkFirst program at the college. Danielle Russell was my WorkFirst Coordinator. She walked me through the scary process of getting my college degree.

I did not expect to go as far as I did. I was just trying to survive, honestly. I had a new baby. I wanted to do something, to change my life and be there in a different way for my kids. Danielle walked me through it. Her being there and being so supportive for me changed my life. I want to be that person for students. I want to pay it on by being a hand up for students like Danielle was for me.

What’s your favorite part about working at GHC?

It really feels like a family here. There’s a closeness and we are so student focused. I love how our staff and faculty are right there for our students with a big old smile.

And I absolutely love working with the folks who helped build me up and bring me where I am.

What advice do you have for students? What do you wish students knew about?

Manage your time. Being a single mom, I had to have things on a schedule. I had to make time for school work, but I also also set aside time to spend with my son. When I got home from class, every night I set aside a couple hours to spend just with him, not doing anything else.

And excuses, excuses will eat up your time. It can be heard, but push past the excuse and get it done, and if you have to, take it one day at a time.

I DO NOT recommend all-nighters (but I admit I pulled a couple as a student.)

And if you need help, reach out. That’s what I’m here for! We all want you to be successful and meet your goals, and we’ve got resources if you need help with study skills or time management. Ask us!

Are you a GHC alum? If so, can you share something awesome about your experience as a student? What about your experience as a student made you want to get a job here?

I truly believe that education changes your life.

I talked above about the amazing experience with Danielle that helped me get where I am today. As part of that experience with WorkFirst, when I was a student I saw Berta Gibby dressed up, helping students, and looking confident. I wanted that for myself. I set a goal for myself, and worked at it, and I did it! What I do today is what Berta was doing then.

Also, I have to give two instructors, Scott Blankenship and Darrelyn Relyea, all the credit for where I’m at today. They were tough teachers but they had a heart of gold and they were there to help me and build my skills.

What do you do when you’re not working at GHC?

When I’m not working, I’m outdoors constantly. If I’m not outdoors I’m reading.

I love the beach, so I’m there a lot, but I also love hiking up in the mountains.

And I’m proud to say that this last summer, I finally hiked around Lake Swano, right here on the GHC campus. I’ve been here how long and only just did it! But it’s a great hike.

If a student needs help with something in your area, how can they get in touch with you and your colleagues?

You can find Workforce Funding on the college website at https://www.ghc.edu/student-services/workforce-funding. You can call or email me at 360-538-4058 or at stacey.quarles@ghc.edu. And lastly, our Virtual Assistance Lobby is still available if you need help but can’t make it to campus.