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Not many people are able to buy their first home at the age of 22, but Stachia Nixon did, thanks to a combination of motivation, discipline, and the flexibility that Ivy Tech offers.
Stachia started taking classes at the Marion campus right out of high school. She had always worked, starting in high school with a job in the Grant County recorder’s office, then part-time at a grocery store. She would alternate between full-time school and full-time work.
“It would fluctuate,” Stachia says. “Sometimes it would be half school and full-time work.”
The ability to switch things up was important to Stachia, and she was able to earn an associate degree in Office Administration in the School of Business. She also has a Technical Certificate in Business.
“My dad worked really hard, 45 years, before retiring,” Stachia relates. “My mom stayed home, and drilled into us that finance is important, credit is important. At 15, she took me to the credit union to open an account. When I turned 18, I started with a low-limit Visa.”
Stachia saved enough money to buy that first house, with help from President Obama’s home-buying incentive program.
The credit union where her mom first took her to learn the basics of saving, Partners 1st Federal Credit Union, is where Stachia works today as a branch sales manager, working her way up from senior teller. She attributes being able to start in that position in large part to her Ivy Tech degree.
Stachia is passionate about the need for young people to learn the basics of finance and saving money.
“I was tired of renting after a year,” she says. “Either I was going to move home or move on. Buying a home was a huge feeling of accomplishment. I want our younger generation to have those tools. Then you can choose to buy a house if they want and not be stuck renting. I see people all the time who don’t have the tools to make that choice. We need to start drilling that into them when they’re younger, so when they’re older, they will have those options.
“I feel like schools do not prepare us for financial literacy as they should, so my passion is to teach the younger generation how important it is to start on your credit early and sustain it throughout life.”
It wasn’t always easy. Stachia credits her Ivy Tech support system with helping her when she struggled.
“Ivy Tech definitely helped me in so many aspects,” she explains. “Document processing, public speaking, Microsoft programs, record management, and accounting were the main aspects I still use today in my current position. They helped me build a resume. I still have it saved and update it as time goes. I was horrible in algebra, and I remember a John Woods, who would tutor me for HOURS! I got a B in that course because of him and that time he would give me.”
“I would say my biggest challenge was coming back. I graduated in 2011 with my associate degree. When I decided to come back part-time in 2018, I was a single mother working full time. The stress can sometimes be unbearable. You feel like a burden to your family for dropping the baby off so you can go to school. The feeling of guilt because you want the best life for you and your child, but it also takes you away from them. Life gets in the way. Sometimes it can be hard to juggle it all. In a flash, I was married, pregnant, and having complications. I was able to obtain my certification in Business, but just three classes shy of another associate degree, I had to take a break.”
Her advice to current students? “Keep pushing. If you’re down and out, don’t give up. Ivy Tech gives you flexibility.”
Stachia’s future plans include a four-year degree, but that will have to wait until her youngest child is a little older. She was waiting for COVID to end so she could take in-person classes and now is busy with the blended family of four children she shares with her husband. But Stachia, better than some, knows to be prepared for whatever life brings.
Each Tuesday, our campuses hold an enrollment event designed for you to explore programs, get help applying and preparing for Ivy Tech classes, connect with career coaches, and more. Our team will work with you personally to answer any questions and help you determine the right next step.
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