November 20, 2017 - by Haley Carwile

Susan Fenwick is a dedicated and hard-working wife and mother of two. She started out working at McDonald’s when she was 15, and was steadily promoted throughout her career to a variety of management positions, until she came to be the office manager for her owner-operator. That’s where she learned about Archways to Opportunity. She seized the opportunity, and never looked back.

Not being a person to ever waste an opportunity, Susan took full advantage of what she was being offered. First, she attended and graduated from the Career Online High School. Then she took the next leap: college! Through the Archways to Opportunity program, Susan was able to enroll in a Business Administration degree program at Colorado Technical University online.

Most goals come with challenges, and Susan’s goal of graduating from high school was no exception. First, she had to confess to her family that she had never graduated from high school. Despite the initial shock however, her family has been nothing but supportive and encouraging; even when dinner is a little late, or it’s pizza for dinner, because she’s got a homework deadline to meet.

One of her biggest takeaways apart from academics was the fact that you have to take chances and use your resources. “There’s so much help and support out there if you just let people know that you need it.” Susan “used her village” as she puts it, to get through online high school. She received support from her family, her owner-operator and the Career Online High School academic coaches. When she entered college, she continued to use her resources. At first, college was overwhelming and Susan had no idea how to navigate its maze of deadlines and expectations. But that didn’t stop her. She reached out to the academic coaches at Colorado Tech, and kept asking questions until she found the right ones, and in turn, the answers that kept her on the pathway to success. One thing that really stood out in her experience with Colorado Tech, has been the incredible patience and guidance that her academic coaches have provided. Susan feels so much more confident now because of that tremendous support; she’s even decided to up her class load this semester!

Grateful and determined are the two words that best describe Susan. She is extremely grateful for all of the opportunities that McDonald’s and the Archways to Opportunity program have provided her. Susan has learned skills that she can use to keep advancing in her career, take to another job, or even use to open her own business! There are no limits for Susan, she is a rising star and it will be amazing to hear what she’s up to in a year from now, five years or in ten.

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