When life gave her lemons, Wendy Davison of Danvers made lemonade. She had a lucrative career in the restaurant industry when a 2004 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis prompted the mom of twin Essex Technical High School freshmen to realize she needed to change careers to give her sons a better future.
She got that start in North Shore Community College’s Women In Transition (WIT) program, calling it a perfect fit. WIT is a strength-based, supportive learning community of mature female students, which is dedicated to easing the transitions to college, career, and life changing possibilities. The program faculty and staff guide the women within the comfort and safety of a small learning cohort.
From WIT, Wendy enrolled in Liberal Arts at NSCC. In addition to school, she worked upwards of 60 hours a week, missing only 2 days. In addition, she found time to participate in: Delta Alpha Pi, an honor society that unites high-achieving students to advance their leadership skills and ignite cultural awareness of learning diversity for which she was treasurer and advertising coordinator for the spring fling event and Chrysalis magazine roll out; was a member of Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society for Leadership and Success; Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society; and worked in student life/dean of students office as a work study and then part-time staff. Wendy also received a distinguished service award and the Academic Affairs and WIT scholarships for her achievements.
Wendy also participated in service-learning by tutoring at the Highland Elementary School in Danvers, and volunteered to help with WIT orientations as a way to give back. “WIT was a major leap into school and achievements for me. I highly recommend it to any women who have been out of school for a while and are apprehensive about their ability to go to college. It is a wonderfully supportive environment that wants to make sure you thrive!”
Wendy graduated with High Honors, a GPA of 3.9, and will transfer to Salem State University in the fall to pursue a bachelor of sociology degree, then a master’s degree. “I want to become an academic advisor because I want to give back. I will stop at nothing to reach this goal, because it means so much to me!!!” she said.
Speaking of giving back, Wendy notes, “On my bucket list is to donate blood at every hospital in Boston, and I am trying to plan a trip to St. Jude’s hospital in Tennessee to not only donate blood, but to see if I am a candidate to donate marrow. I donated two pints of blood a week after the marathon bombing, at Mass General and received a letter of thanks as it went to a trauma victim from the deadly blast.
“It’s an amazing feeling to help others selflessly and giving the gift of life is free and feels so emotionally rewarding,” she concluded.