Matt and family

“If someone had told the 17-year-old me that I would be here now, trying to accomplish all of this, I would have probably gotten my act together sooner,” he said.  “Despite the hustle, our lives are good.  I think we are both very happy with where we are and what we are accomplishing.”

A 10-year veteran of the Army, Parker worked on helicopters and served in Iraq for four years between 2004-2011.  “That’s when I grew up,” he said. “That’s when I found the responsible me.”

Now a firefighter/paramedic for two fire departments in St. Tammany Parish, La, where he lives, Parker is working toward enrolling in the EMS/Paramedic-to-RN program at MGCCC’s Bryant Center.

“My grades were not that great my first time around in college when I attended a university right out of high school.  I started college at 17 and did the whole fraternity and partying thing.  Now I am trying to bolster my grade point average enough to apply to the program this spring.”

Parker is taking most of his classes at MGCCC online to avoid a long daily commute.  “MGCCC is the only place even remotely local to me that offers the Paramedic-to-RN bridge program in a hybrid format that works with my schedule.  While I prefer traditional classes, due to my family and work life, I was forced to take most of my classes online.”

Surprising himself, Parker has excelled in the online environment. “My instructors have just been outstanding. The classes are set up in a very uniform, interactive, and understandable manner; much greater than I expected from any online classes.  MGCCC offers a quality education in this format.”

Driving the 70-plus miles to the Harrison County Campus, Parker enrolled for fall classes on August 16 and picked up his books.

“I wanted to meet several of the outstanding instructors I took classes with this summer,” he said.  “I wanted to let them know how much I appreciate the great job they do and how much they have helped me as I returned to college. While I look forward to beginning the transition program, I have also found a love of many subjects through online learning.”


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