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Jennifer Deal

Support System and Determination Help Motlow Student Jennifer Deal Succeed in the Classroom and on the Race Track

Motlow College student Jennifer Deal lives life in the fast lane, literally. A student by day, Deal is also an award-winning "outlaw" tractor pulling competitor and an up-and-coming mini mod race car driver when not in the classroom. Outlaw tractors are tractors equipped with motorcycle engines.

When her school week is done, Deal travels across the Southeast to attend pulling competitions. She also enjoys building and rebuilding engines. But even with her fast lane schedule, she has been able to maintain a 3.8 GPA at Motlow.

How does she do it?

Deal said having a great support system and a lot of determination make it all happen. Her typical day begins before the sun rises, when she helps feed the horses on her parents' farm. She then makes the 30 minute drive to Motlow, where her classes begin at 8 a.m.

"I have classes straight through until a little after one o'clock, and then it's off to either work on the tractors or head to a race,"

Deal enrolled at Motlow after graduating in 2010 from Moore County High School. "I knew that I wanted the college experience, but I didn't want the large class size that goes along with a four-year university, and Motlow seemed perfect for me," she said. Deal added that Motlow College has given her flexible class times, support from teachers, and the opportunity to balance her life, both inside and outside the classroom.

My advisor, [Dr.] Janice Harder, has been such a huge help in helping me schedule classes that fit around my racing schedule," Deal said. "She and her husband [Dr. Ward Harder] have always been there to help in any way that I needed."

Deal likes the small class sizes at Motlow and said smaller classes give her more opportunities for hands-on learning and a voice in the classroom.

"I learn so much more when I am able to get involved with what I am learning," she explained. "It is also important that I can talk to the instructor if needed, and they actually know who I am. This way, I feel like I am making the most of my education."

Deal said Motlow has gotten her on track and helped her continue to work toward a career as an ultrasound technician. She will graduate in December with an associate's degree in applied science.

It is so much different than graduating from high school," she said. "I feel like I am on my way to being the adult I want to be and having the career I want, and going to Motlow has definitely made this possible... I know for sure that my time at Motlow College will help me as I continue toward my goal of becoming an ultrasound tech. I now have the study skills, the confidence, and the determination to achieve whatever comes my way."

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