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Graduate Highlight – Caitlin Gawthrop

Caitlin Gawthrop 1Grafton native, Caitlin (Davis) Gawthrop, is a recent graduate of West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport.  She graduated from WVJC Bridgeport with an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting in August and is currently employed with eLab Solutions working with patients and running lab based testing.  She loves what she does because she is making a difference in the lives of her patients.  Caitlin did not start her journey here, though.  It began nearly two years ago, when she made the decision that brought her to this point.

Caitlin started her college career straight out of high school, but after a while did not like what she was studying or where she was at.  She said “it wasn’t for me.  I wanted to find a college that would work around my schedule, still give me the ability to have a life, and not be overly stressed.”  She chose the medical program because she had taken some classes in high school and did very well.  “I picked being a Medical Assistant because somewhere out in the world, a doctor’s office or hospital is going to need me.”  With that, she began at WVJC and never looked back.  As a student, Caitlin excelled in the classroom.  However, her favorite part?  “The experience.  Making friends and having friendships with the instructors.  I didn’t wake up every morning and dread going to class, I enjoyed it!”

Caitlin also said that she would not have been able to do this without support.  “My husband let me go to school full-time while he worked.  He wanted to make sure that I finished, and that I could be proud of myself.” In addition to her husband, Caitlin said she could not have made it through without her classmates and friends, Paula Stout and Ginger Persinger.   Finally, the instructors at WVJC played a big part in her success as a student, and now as a member of the workforce.  “Mrs. Kristy Cunningham assisted me in finding the job I have now, and she has helped make a better life for my family and I.”

Looking back on her experience, she offers new and current students the following advice.  “Take your time. DO NOT give up on yourself.  Life HAPPENS.   Whether you have kids or are working two jobs…Know that you can do this.  Tell yourself everyday why you are attending college – to make your life BETTER.” 

In the end, Caitlin has a new outlook on life because of her experience at WVJC Bridgeport.  “Graduating college has changed my outlook on life, and taught me that all things are possible if you just believe.”