Student Experience: LaCresha Kolba

lecresha-certificateFirst time student, LaCresha Kolba, recently completed our Grant Writing Basics class at Wright Middle School. Read below for more information about LaCresha, her experience with NCE and the goals she hopes our classes will help her reach:

What was the most memorable thing you learned from the class?

The most memorable thing I learned from class was discovering the work to do grant writing was not going to be easy, however, the instructor gave us tips on how to make the job more streamline. Being able to learn from someone who was speaking from experience really made this class stand out. We were not learning from a book, but years and years of hands-on experience & success by the instructor himself.

How did this class specifically affect your career or how do you hope it will affect your career?
I had been debating on signing up for this particular class due to my writing career aspirations. When I thought this class would potentially give me an edge when I applied for a Fundraiser Coordinator/Grant Writer position I signed up immediately. My initiative to sign up for the class & the knowledge I gained in one session gave me a step up in the interview process & allowed me to stand out.  It also assisted me in being offered the position. Thanks to this class I am now working on applying for grants for a local non-profit!

Are you planning to take any other Nashville Community Education Classes?
Yes!! The classes offered are in a relaxed atmosphere and taught by knowledgeable individuals who are professionals in the industry they are instructing. The classes are also affordable. I feel I am gaining a vast amount of knowledge to make my career go further on my very tight budget. It is also incredibly easy to apply. Which makes it very attractive to me as I am very busy and I don’t have time to deal with an admissions department just because I want to further my education. (You can register online 24/7!)

I really wish some of the classes did not overlap as there are several classes I want to take, but they conflict scheduling wise. Hopefully the Spanish classes will continue & I really hope the Spanish for Health Professionals will be offered again. I really wanted to take it this semester so I could be moving in the direction of learning all I could to pursue opportunities as a translator, but it conflicts with Basic Home Repair, another class I plan on taking!

How would you describe NCE to someone who never took a class?
I would describe these classes as relaxed, the instructors have fun personalities, and the information is given to you at a level that can be well understood.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
These classes are Nashville’s best kept secret (however, as quickly as some of them fill up….that secret is getting out).

Come see how great NCE can be for yourself! Registration for Spring 2017 classes opens December 12 and is ongoing through April.

AARP helps more than just 50+ year olds

by LaToya Pickett

As someone under 30, LaToya  entered the Life Reimagined class with fear of being too young for the AARP brand, but she actually learned how to maximized her passions and desires through this class.

How does AARP fit for a person under 30?

Nashville Community Education hosts the AARP’s Life Reimagined class and it truly is for all ages.

Described as a session to help you navigate the next phases of your life, you will leave equipped with the tools – and a nifty workbook – to explore what you currently do and how you can get to your goals.

After attending the class, here’s what you will learn.

  1. If you are younger than 30 you will think about your life past 30 in ways you’ve never done before. I was able to talk to women who were retirement age, or close to it, and they gave a new perspective. My takeaways were learning independence, gracefully moving into new areas of your life, and a certain age doesn’t have to dictate the end of your living.

You will be provided with a workbook to work through about finding and maximizing your passions. The spiral graphic begins at birth, ends in death and twists and turns in between. We circled the part of the image where we currently are in life and listed the important moments so far. My list includes graduating college and moving back to Nashville.

  1. Preparation is key for a successful and an active life. Being a millennial, I am conditioned to think more currently and hope everything works in the future.

In the workbook, there was a checklist of things that are important in life. Mrs. Walker advised us to check five things that are most important to us. I checked Time with family, having close friends, building my career, being healthy and my faith. With the things I found most important to me, I know that strength in these things only comes with making plans to accomplish them.

  1. Don’t be afraid to share your passions. Sometimes it is hard to articulate myself to new people and it’s even harder to project my passion to them. I’m a very guarded person and every day I try to showcase my real self. Mrs. Walker said in a world full of people who are trying so hard to be something other than themselves, just be excellent as yourself. She gave me permission to exhibit my passions and go after them.

She also provided this great formula for a meaningful life:

Gifts (things you are good at) + Passions (things you love) + Values (things that motivate you) = Passion.

  1. Just do it. The last activity for the class was checking two activities on the personalized GPS. I checked choose and act. The workbook describes the mindset of choosing to commit to making a change, and the action of weighing your options and deciding on your new direction. The mindset for act is that you can do it and taking action is the first step. You can adapt as you go.

After attending the class, I want to take all that I learned and continue on my journey to greatness.

I’m so glad I didn’t let the title of AARP scare me and I’m ready to reimagine my life.

NCE will host another Life Reimagined Class on December 6 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Cohn Learning Center.


A Family Affair: sisters unknowingly take classes at Martha O’Bryan

Sisters Dwen Guydon (left) and Latonya Hill (right) unknowingly attended class at the Martha O’Bryan Center on the same night! Guydon attended the Use Photos to Tell Your Story class and Hill attended the Six Steps To Managing Your Money class.

During an October evening at the Martha O’Bryan Center, two sisters discovered they were both taking Nashville Community Education classes.

Dwen Guydon, who took the Use Photos to Tell Your Story class was interviewed first for the student blogs. Then she saw her sister, Latonya Hill, in the hallway. Latonya is taking the Six Steps to Managing Your Money class. They had various reasons for taking their classes.

“I wanted to get some more insight on to what else I can do with my photos, other than turning them into videos. Eventually I will like to do a webinar on my family photos,” said Dwen. “I’m trying to learn the basics of getting a budget to use in the home” Latonya said.

While this was Latonya’s first time taking a NCE class, Dwen has taken a variety of classes.

“I think I may have taken a public speaking class—I can’t remember what year it was but I know it was several years ago,” said Dwen. “I did take a belly dancing class one time, that was a lot of fun too.”

This was also the first session classes were offered at the Martha O’Bryan Center. Classes are offered there to give a closer proximity to student’s daily commute, as well as bridge the community gap.

“It is the Commission’s goal to capture more of Nashville and its varied community members so that we continue to fulfill our mission of enriching the diverse fabric of Nashville,” said Mary Beth Harding, Executive Director of NCE.

When the sisters were asked about where a Nashville visitor should go for food, both unknowingly said the same restaurant.

“I like Morton’s (618 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219). My favorite Italian restaurant would be Maggiano’s (3106 W. End Avenue Nashville, TN 37203),” said Dwen. “Maggiano’s is one of my favorites,” said Latonya.

The Use Photo to Tell Your Story class was offered on October 11 and Six Steps to Managing Your Money had classes on October 11 &18 and November 3 &10. Please visit the Nashville Community Education website to for more information.