Terri Howard’s involvement as a student at OTC extends well beyond the classroom door.
In fact, saying Howard is involved at OTC is an understatement; instead, she’s jumped in with both feet.
The second-year student is president of the Professional Land Care Network (PLANET) student organization, a member of the Spanish Club, Phi Theta Kappa honors society, the OTC Performing Arts Choir, the Society for the Awareness of the Natural Environment (SANE) and a student work-study receptionist in the OTC Middle College office.
The first-generation college student, who drives from Mount Vernon five days a week, said she has seen what her family has gone through without going to college and wants to make a better life for herself.
“I spend a lot of time away from home. I want people to see I’m a hard worker,” said Howard, who wants a career in urban forestry.
Discipline is important when being involved in so many groups, Howard said.
“I make sure I have all my studies done above anything,” said Howard, who has straight As.
In addition to carrying a full load of classes, Howard has headed up important projects for some of her organizations.
PLANET has recently worked on sites needing landscape improvements. This past fall, the group refurbished trails and mulched trees at the Valley Water Mill Park area. It also did some cleanup work on the OTC Springfield campus.
Last week, the Spanish Club started a drive to collect eyeglasses for children in Mexico; they’re also collecting money and toys for victims of the Joplin tornado.
Howard, who will graduate in May with an associate degree in turf and landscape, said she enjoys all the time she spends on the OTC Springfield campus.
“I love walking around OTC. Instructors see me everywhere. I enjoy getting to know them,” she said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.
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