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A Web of Success in Leon County

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Carol (Suzy) Langston

Carol (Suzy) Langston's world had fallen apart several years ago, and she found herself homeless, alone, unemployed, and expecting her third child. Fighting hopelessness, her desire to change her circumstances and provide a better life for her children kept her going. She sought the help of several social service agencies that assisted with her immediate need for housing, food, emergency funds, and emotional support. Her next step was to find a job, but she soon realized she lacked the skills, training, and confidence she needed to obtain meaningful work that would pay enough to support her family. Facing her fear of failure, and nurturing a newly discovered creative talent, she enrolled in the Web Design Services Program at Lively Technical Center.

According to Lively teacher Lea Anna Davis, Suzy attacked the demanding curriculum with a hunger and determination rarely exhibited by any student. In spite of her difficult personal situation and responsibilities as a single mother, she seldom missed a day of school. While enrolled, she took advantage of every opportunity to learn advanced level skills through her participation in the Web Design Services program's optional Oracle training classes and through her study of Visual Basic programming. In order to practice her new skills, she volunteered to design and build a web site for the Healing Arts Alliance and to develop a complex inventory-tracking software program for the Goodwood Museum and Gardens.

After two years of training, it was time for her to transition into the workforce. She found a challenging position at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a computer programmer working with Visual Basic and Oracle. Her training and incredible attitude assured her success, and after three months, she was given a significant raise. Her supervisor, John Watts, shared these words about her: "Suzy has made herself indispensable. Her development productivity has been excellent, and she becomes more valuable by wanting to learn the scientific or statistical concepts for which she is programming. Curious, plenty. Keeper, absolutely."

In her own words, Suzy sums up her success, "I have a beautiful home, a very happy family, a career that I am totally devoted to, and last but not least, a heart full of gratitude and the desire to share and inspire others who want to change their lives." She continues by sharing her motto, "Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams."