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Student Success Story Sheila Isom-Grace

photo of Sheila Isom-Grace
Sheila Isom-Grace says she considered herself a “loser.” But after enrolling in the Substance Abuse Counseling program at Eastfield College, she found a career and a purpose in life.
“How did I get to Eastfield’s Substance Abuse program? To be honest, I was in recovery myself. With a year and a half sober at the age of 46, I considered myself a loser who had wasted her life and was looking for a way to make a living that took the least amount of time,” Isom-Grace says. Substance Abuse Counseling and Social Work are related programs, both offered with a variety of degree and certificate options for college credit at Eastfield College.

Her dream was to get her master’s degree, become a licensed professional counselor and open a faith-based treatment center. At her very first class, Substance Abuse Counseling professor Gloria Jackson helped change Isom-Grace’s outlook and set her on the path to success.

“She told me, ‘What you’ve been doing is learning from experience, and there is no greater teacher. What you have learned through life is something I can’t teach in the classroom — it can only be learned by living it. Consequently, the only way that you can really lose in this situation is by not allowing what you’ve been through to be used to touch someone else’s life.’

“She challenged me to go do what was in my heart and to never look back, and that is exactly what I have done.”

Isom-Grace earned dual associate degrees in
Social Work and Substance Abuse Counseling at Eastfield College. After more education, she became director and 12-Step sponsor of Sigma Twelve Women’s Recovery Center in Brownwood, Texas. She says Eastfield’s program supplied her with the foundation for success.

“Surprisingly (for me), I got the vast majority of my education at Eastfield. Most of what I completed at the university level, even through my master’s degree, was basically broadening and solidifying what I learned at Eastfield.”

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