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Bramblett wins Career Makover

Adult students continue to reinvent their careers by taking courses and earning degrees at John Wood Community College. 

Sarah Bramblett received a check to cover her associate degree at JWCC. presented by Kristen Ritterbusch, JWCC Director of Admissions, Winner Sarah Bramblett, WGEM’s Natalie Will and Barbara Holthaus, JWCC Foundation Executive Director. (Contributed photo)

This opportunity is now open to Sarah Bramblett of Palmyra, who won this year’s JWCC Foundation and WGEM Career Makeover competition.

Bramblett emerged from a field of more than 40 applicants to earn a two-year, full-tuition scholarship, also covering books and fees, to pursue an associate degree at JWCC.

She has spent the last 20 years since high school raising her family. At 39-years-old she says now is the right time to start college.

“I think just a combination of the support of the people around me is a big factor,” Bramblett shared with WGEM’s Natalie Will. “I’m getting to the point where I know I want to continue doing more in this field and to do that I do need the education to be able to open those doors.”

Bramblett currently oversees group programs for mental health and substance use disorders at Preferred Family Healthcare in Hannibal.

“It will allow me to be able to move up positions here at Preferred and hopefully pursue some counseling and be able to work with clients more one-on-one,” Bramblett explained, adding she wants to build on her 15 plus years in human services and plans to earn a degree and stay in the field she’s passionate about. 

Christina Gawedzinksi, Bramblett’s supervisor at Preferred Family, encouraged her to apply for the Career Makeover contest, and says she has the drive and passion to go far.  

“She is very organized and very person-centered. She does a lot of for us here with our clients,” Gawedzinksi said about Bramblett. “She is very compassionate and endearing with some of our more challenging clients.”

Bramblett added she is hoping to improve herself to help others. 

“There is always something to learn,” she said. “I really enjoy seeing people growing and know that something I may have done or even had a very small part in has made a difference for someone else.”

Runners-up to the competition are Keith Andrews and Amie Malone. Each will receive a $500 JWCC scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The JWCC Foundation began in 1984 to advance the College’s mission and create educational opportunities through giving. 

In addition to the annual Career Makeover competition, the Foundation awards more than $150,000 in private scholarships to JWCC students each year and supports multiple programmatic and capital projects for the College.

“This is one more way the JWCC Foundation creates educational opportunities,” said Barbara Dietrich Holthaus, executive director of the JWCC Foundation Board. “We are proud to partner with WGEM to show the power education has to change someone’s life.”