Learn more about what Wilmington College Cincinnati has to offer from our past and current students.
There are many reasons that I’m grateful for Wilmington College. One of the biggest reasons is that the college provided me with the confidence and the drive to set the sky as my limit. Deep inside I knew that I had the potential to become an impactful personality on society. What I didn’t realize is that maximizing this potential could not be achieved alone.
I have several friends with college degrees who all have spent a significant amount of time sharing information about the work that had to be completed while in college. I was told that this work is the key to success. I wasn’t in college at this time. And after hearing these stories, I had no desire of ever going. But I soon took a leap of faith approximately 24 years removed from high school and found myself enrolled at Wilmington College. As time passed, I found myself developing more and more relationships with the faculty and staff at Wilmington College. I understood that the work I was completing was imperative, but quickly recognized that it was not the key to success. The relationships that I developed during my time at Wilmington College have proven to be the keys to success.
Obtaining a college degree is a proud moment in life, but obtaining a degree from Wilmington College is priceless! I cannot express the gratitude that I have for being afforded the opportunity to develop so many wonderful friendships (students and staff) during my time at Wilmington.
I am currently employed by The TriHealth Cancer Institute, providing love and hope to our cancer patients. I am also enrolled at NKU pursuing my MBA, which will assist me in maximizing my potential, so that I may share my gifts with the world.
Before graduating from Wilmington College, my personal Mission Statement used to read, “I’m coming!” Now being a proud Quaker for life it reads, “I’ve arrived!”
I consider myself blessed for having walked through the doors of Wilmington College. I now realize that I cannot maximize my potential alone. What I have come to realize is that by walking as a Quaker, I can achieve anything in life one step at a time. Thank you all!
“Wilmington gave me the opportunity to move forward with my education. As a non- traditional student, their program gave me the flexibility to work full time while attending. I felt more than prepared to start the next step if my educational journey once I completed my program at Wilmington College. The staff is very helpful, knowledgeable and passionate. I thoroughly enjoy maintaining my relationship with Wilmington College and look forward to it for years to come”.
Theodore is currently working as a Staff Accountant in the manufacturing industry. After Wilmington, he attended Mount Saint Joseph University and received a MBA in Executive Management in December of 2018. He has plans on taking the CPA exam in the future.
Ming Toy Cardwell ’08 credits Cincinnati Branch for genesis of business plan
Ming Toy Cardwell shared the story of when she and her husband entered a Cincinnati restaurant accompanying 15 boys and young men eager to celebrate a birthday. An employee asked, “Who are you, a basketball team?”
Cardwell simply responded, “We’re family.” Those two words resonated with the young males and go a long way in explaining the human concept of caring and compassion behind her work and passion for improving young lives. She is the CEO and co-founder of Cincinnati’s Changing Lives Youth Services, which maintains two group homes for young males ages 12 through 19.
After they enjoyed dinner, one of the boys came up to her and, with heartfelt emotion, told her, “You said, ‘We’re all family.’ That meant so much to me.”
His response means a lot to Cardwell whose mission is to, in her words, “take kids that are in danger of slipping through the cracks” and help them to one day become productive citizens in the community and lead successful lives.
“These kids want to feel normal and not be labeled,” Cardwell said. “It’s tough enough to be in the system and live in a group home. These kids come with a lot of baggage. They’ve had some awful things happen to them — abuse, neglect, abandonment — and they’ve made some poor choices in their lives. We have a lot of layers to work through, but we’re working to fit those puzzle pieces back together.”
Like many of her Cincinnati Branch contemporaries, Cardwell married and had children (two sons) soon after graduating high school. Possessing an interest in social work, she later attended Northern Kentucky University and Xavier, but life’s responsibilities got in the way and she left school before attaining her bachelor’s degree.
Appreciating the importance of education, Cardwell enrolled in the Cincinnati Branch’s accelerated organizational leadership program in 2005 after WC accepted her previous college credits and mapped out her path to graduation over the subsequent 18 months.
While in school at WC, tragedy visited Cardwell’s family when her foster son was murdered.
“We had this young man move into our home and he was shot and killed — it’s still hard to tell this story,” she said. “After that happened, I knew I wanted to do something that would help prevent a tragedy like this.”
Her husband, Leroy, CLYS’s co-founder that is now in law enforcement, had experience working at a group home, so he had insight into the positives and negatives the group home model has upon disadvantaged youth.
“I wanted to know how they went from a group home to trouble or prison,” she said. “We knew that, kids in group homes, was not like having family support, so I took that into consideration and started my own program.”
That’s where Wilmington College came into the picture. In addition to the support she received from those at WC upon her foster son’s death, she wanted her senior, capstone group project to address the interest she had in establishing an agency to deal with the problem.
“The other students were excited to work on it too,” she said. “It started as just an idea, but I use that capstone project to this day as my business plan. I’m grateful for Wilmington’s help in shaping what I’m doing today. I thoroughly enjoyed my professors and taking classes at Wilmington College.”
Changing Lives Youth Services has been up and running for five years. Ten teenagers reside at the main location with five more at a second home.
Lance attended Miami University and is close to attaining his bachelor’s degree. Wilmington makes sense for the working adult living in Cincinnati.
“One of my CPAs at Miami recommended Blue Ash. I feel attending Wilmington College is affecting my learning in a positive way. I feel I can participate in class, have access to my instructors and get immediate feedback — more personal attention and hands-on learning experiences.”
The 2003 Cincinnati State graduate feels WC’s bachelor’s degree completion programs fit her educational ambitions perfectly. The seamless transition, program flexibility and opportunities for accelerated courses accommodated Stacey’s busy life.
“I decided, I needed to finish my degree and Wilmington made the transition easy. I went to small high school so I came from that one-on-one interaction that facilitates close relationships with faculty and staff — we work well together. I want you to know my name and I want to know yours. At Wilmington, we do.”