Donald King has a goal of getting a college degree and failure is not an option. Despite losing jobs, struggling with addiction, being homeless, King is turning his life around and he’s optimistic about his future because he now has a home and he is enrolled at Hazard Community and Technical College.
King has a series of life events that are putting him on track toward his goal of graduating from HCTC. He has been sober since Dec. 1, 2012. In May, he took Summer I and Summer II classes, even though he was living at Corner Haven Homeless Shelter. After seven months being at the homeless shelter, he is thankful to Hazard-Perry County Community Ministries for helping him to find a permanent home.
At age 54, he makes productive use of his time by working on classes this fall semester and already has enrolled for the spring semester. He volunteers with Hazard-Perry County Community Ministries. King said he really appreciates all the people who took the time to believe in him.
Prior to moving to Kentucky, he worked in a Michigan factory that went out of business. He then was a truck driver for many years until he physically could not do that work anymore. He also worked in Springfield, Tenn., at Frigidaire. Family in Breathitt County brought him to Kentucky to visit and then he decided to make this area home.
As an U.S. Army veteran, he receives assistance to enroll in school where he is enrolled in accounting classes. “I want to be a role model to my daughters,” he said. “The instructors have faith in me. I know I can do this.”
HCTC Math Instructor Daniel Madden noted, “Donald was an incredible student. I noticed early on in our summer session that he was incredibly motivated. I knew from speaking with him briefly about his past that he had fallen on hard times, but instead of being bitter he was making himself better. Instead of letting his struggles define him, he was determined to rise above them.”
King has a message for younger people - take advantage of the chance to get an education now.