creating a path
Iesha Newson is cooking up a successful culinary career to inspire her children.
Iesha Newson, a 30-year-old Elyria High School grad who works as a prep cook says her children are her number one motivation to completing her education from Lorain County Community College (LCCC)—and soon, all her hard work will pay off as she receives her associate degree in hospitality and tourism management.
“Pai'Tynn, Dean and Elijah are my three factors that led me to be successful. I owed it to them,” Newson said. “I had to prove it to them that Mommy can do it. I didn't want to have to one day explain how important college is and in the same breath say I couldn't do it myself. Also my instructors kept cheering me on and inspiring me to keep going even when I thought it'd be impossible to do.”
To Newson, family is everything.
“I chose to go to LCCC to stay closer to my mother because at the time she had gotten sick,” Newson said. “I’ve overcome so many barriers while earning my degree. I could go on for hours, from dealing with my children to the health of my parents, car problems and more.”
Newson was indecisive about her career path at first, she said, but her advisor Julie Ford sat down with her to help her figure it all out. They didn’t find the perfect fit right away,
“She then suggested that I look into culinary and hospitality and from there I’ve learned that I enjoy this field of work and now I plan to make a career of it,” Newson said.
Newson couldn’t have done it all and completed her degree without the support of LCCC faculty and staff, she said.
“Chef Adam (Smith) knew I had a lot going on with home and it got really bad to the point where I was going to have to put my education on pause for the second time (after pausing her culinary journey once before) to do what was needed as a provider,” Newson said. “He talked me out of it. We rearranged my schedules and he got me back on track to graduate. He told me he would see me to the end of it and now I’m finally here.”
Women's Link acted as resource for Newson on several occasions, she said. The services offered under the program are now offered through the student Advocacy and Resource Center and includes resources, connections and assistance to overcome barriers to student success.
Newson plans to next earn a bachelor’s degree in dietetics nutrition.