Since 2001, Tracey has overseen all activities and outreach for Women’s Link at Lorain County Community College. Women’s Link is a student resource center helping with personal problems that often times can be barriers from staying enrolled at LCCC or its University Partnership.
A graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, Tracey was an intern at United Way of Greater Lorain County. With a degree in criminal justice that is completely unrelated to her present career, she credits LLCIP with exposing her to the opportunities in non-profit organizations, where she has found her life’s passion.
“I really didn’t know what a non-profit was or what kind of work was available until I had my internship at United Way, so that was an eye-opening experience for me,” she said. “I’ve worked in either government or non-profit my whole work life.”
Tracey participated in LLCIP after graduating in 1991 before beginning her master’s degree at Cleveland State University. However, before completing her master’s degree, she left school to go to Washington D.C. to work on a congressional campaign for Sherrod Brown. When she realized that she didn’t like living in a big city, she decided to return to her roots in Lorain County, and to pursue a career in the non-profit world.
“As I was leaving Washington D.C. I said to my boss, ‘I’d really like to work for a non-profit, especially one that helps people attend and succeed in college’” she said. “And look where I work now—this is the perfect job for me! I never would have considered non-profits if it hadn’t been for the internship program and knowing what other resources were out there.”
Tracey later returned to Cleveland State to complete her master’s degree in public administration, which she said is much more related to her career now than her criminal justice degree. She encourages the LLCIP participants to keep their options open, despite what major they are pursuing.
“Don’t be afraid of being pigeonholed—if you want to do something, figure out how to do it and go for it. Change your mind—if you’re unhappy at your job it’s not going to do anyone any good, especially you.”