Michelle Hearst smiles for the camera in the Patton building.

#BlueRidgeGrad: Michelle Hearst

Featured Photo: Blue Ridge Community College student Michelle Hearst smiles for the camera in the Patton Building.

Emily Gill
Marketing and Communications Dept.

Michelle Hearst knew as early as elementary school that she wanted to be a teacher.

“I was always the teacher’s helper,” she laughed as she remembered being asked to help pass out papers and help her classmates. “I wanted to become a teacher and change the lives of kids.”

Though Hearst’s calling was clear from a young age, she found life’s daily challenges, parenthood, and a global pandemic in her path as she earned her degree.

Hearst transferred to Blue Ridge Community College from another institution in 2020, a move she described as very positive.

“I feel at home here and I’ve been doing great ever since I came here: grades and confidence,” Hearst said.

This December, Hearst will graduate with the Class of 2022 with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. She said her instructors’ encouragement and positive feedback helped her achieve her goal of graduation.

“It’s the motivation. They really motivated me to push to finish,” Hearst said.

She further said the resources and support from the College community itself helped her finish her degree. Most of all, she emphasized the importance of persistence.

“The road may be hard, but it’s definitely doable. Anybody coming in, especially if you’re a parent or have other struggles in life, you can make it. Blue Ridge definitely gave me outlets to strive and finish,” Hearst said. “It’s been a great experience.”

Hearst currently leads a toddler classroom in Buncombe County. In the future, she plans to earn a four-year degree to work in the public school system as a kindergarten teacher and one day pursue starting her own childcare center.

Learn more about Blue Ridge Community College.

Education: Early Childhood & Teacher Preparation
Early Childhood programs offer associate degrees in Early Childhood Education (transfer or entry option) and certificates in Early Childhood Administration, Early Childhood Preschool, and Infant/Toddler Care.

Teacher Preparation programs offer an Associate in Arts: Teacher Preparation option or an Associate in Science: Teacher Preparation options.