Each spring, CCV awards the Alumni Scholarship to graduates who plan to continue their studies at a 4-year college or university. The 2021 Alumni Scholarship recipients are Sophie Decker and Mariah Malloy. Sophie is a graduate of CCV-Winooski who completed a degree in early childhood education and will transfer to the University of Vermont to continue her education. Sophie also completed Early College at CCV and was previously profiled here. Read Mariah’s CCV story below. Congratulations to Sophie and Mariah on receiving this award!

Mariah Malloy grew up in small-town Vermont, instilled with the values of hard work and trustworthiness from a young age. But in high school Mariah found it hard to relate to her teachers and to what she was learning, and didn’t get what she needed to succeed academically. This changed when she found CCV.

Mariah spent her senior year of high school as a full-time CCV-Middlebury student through the Early College program. The program allowed her to try out college classes and learn in a different environment while also still being able to participate in extracurricular activities at her high school. “I graduated high school with one year of college already underneath my belt in 2018,” she said. “I had a jumpstart [on college] before everybody else in my class. It felt like I was one step ahead.”

After she graduated from high school Mariah stayed at CCV to finish her associate degree. She pursued a business degree from the start, thinking that it would help her move up the management ladder at her job at a local Dunkin’ Donuts. While taking classes, she needed to make a job change and looked for an opportunity with a flexible schedule where she could juggle working full time and pursuing a college degree. She found a job at the local preschool as an assistant teacher in August 2019. This is when a new passion clicked for Mariah: “I was watching the teacher teach and I was seeing how much she was having fun and how much I was having fun and I was like ‘you know what, this is what I want to do.’”

At the time of this realization Mariah was halfway through her business degree at CCV. She talked with her advisor and came up with a plan to also pursue a degree in early childhood education after finishing her associate degree in business. In the spring of 2020 Mariah completed her business degree, and this spring, she completed her associate degree in early childhood education. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Phoenix starting this summer.

For Mariah, choosing to stay at CCV to complete two associate degrees was a “no brainer” because of the cost, learning environment, support from staff and faculty, and schedule flexibility. “I was already enrolled here so I didn’t have to apply for a school or write an essay, I knew how to run the Portal and who I’d be working with…Everybody was there for one goal: to help you succeed.” Even more, she was trying to avoid student loans for college and says that she has “managed to not have any debt so far, and with the program I’m going to continue with for my bachelor’s degree I still will have no debt by the time I graduate.”

As she prepares for graduation and starting at the University of Phoenix in June, Mariah reflects on the value of her CCV degree and the significance of being awarded the Alumni Scholarship. “It has helped me with what I need to do to succeed academically, but also with the mental and emotional health needed,” she says of CCV. As for the scholarship, “it means that all the hard work that I went through getting these two degrees is recognized…I would not be where I am right now if it wasn’t for people, especially the CCV staff, pushing me to what I want to do and who I want to be.”

Mariah is on track to become a teacher, and her education at CCV was the first step. She plans to get her teaching license and work at an elementary or preschool until she retires. Working with children is Mariah’s passion, which she says is “easy work and something I would really love to do. It’s something that I would wake up to each day and can’t wait to be at work.”

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