Shelby Ammerman learned a big lesson after being featured in a News-Leader series of stories about poverty and its impact on local residents.
“Family means a lot, especially when you’re struggling,” said the OTC freshman.
Ammerman, along with her mother and younger sister, was profiled in the newspaper project that went into detail about the family’s struggles to make ends meet and cope with what poverty throws at them.
The stories have put Ammerman in the spotlight.
“It’s been kind of hectic. People from the past have read it in the newspaper and contacted me. My fifth-grade elementary teacher sent me an email wondering how I was doing. Customers where I work are asking me how I’m doing,” she said.
Her mother, Carmen, made an important statement in one story when she said education is the way to a better life.
Ammerman has adopted that philosophy and is enrolled at OTC, taking some classes that start at 7 a.m. and others that end after 9 p.m. She also works at McAllister’s.
“I’m getting used to college. OTC is not as hectic as a university would be. I’m getting my general education courses here and will transfer later. The time I spend with my teachers and classmates is very good,” said Ammerman, who graduated from Hillcrest High School.
Ammerman isn’t sure what career she will choose. She’s considering psychology, becoming a lobbyist or maybe a teacher.
Ammerman and her sister, Ellie, are close and the little sister wants to follow her big sister’s footsteps in getting an education.
“We’re seven years apart but we’re really close and we get along. She’s growing up fast and is really intelligent. She’s in the International Baccalaureate program at Pipkin and is writing the play for the school,” Ammerman said.
It’s the closeness of the family that Ammerman cherishes most and something she uses both daily and when considering her future.
“When we’re together as a family, we can get through anything,” she said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media services at Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Media Relations
Phone: (417) 447-2666