Colyer Gets Life-Changing Foundation at Mercer
Windsor, N.J. - For Victoria Harmor Colyer '08 (A.S.,
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement), earning her degree from
Mercer County Community College has provided an educational
foundation and a sense of self-confidence that will last a
A single mother, Colyer was working as an administrative assistant
at Family & Children's Services of Central New Jersey
when she was encouraged by fellow staff members to further
her education. "Because I only had my GED and did not
take the SAT, I thought I was not able to go to college. I
am happy that was not the case," she says.
Colyer chose Mercer because it was close to home and offered
the flexible schedule she needed to balance college with her
other responsibilities. "This helped out a lot since
I was a single mom," Colyer said. Fueled by the desire
to help people in need, she enrolled in the Criminal Justice
Program with the goal of becoming a state trooper. "The
coursework was exciting; I had great teachers."
also found a nurturing environment that made a major difference
in her life. She attended leadership conferences and was active
in the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), a program that provides
support to students from educationally and financially disadvantaged
backgrounds. She singles out Dr. Khalidda Haqq, who directs Programs
for Academic Services and Success (PASS) and EOF, and Communication
Professor Alvyn Haywood as two individuals who were central to her
"I could go to Dr. Haqq whenever a problem arose at school
or at home," Colyer says. "Professor Haywood's public
speaking class really helped boost my confidence when it came to
presenting my thoughts and ideas. Now I have no fear of giving a
presentation at work or anywhere the need arises."
She notes there are no words to adequately describe her Mercer experience.
"I made great friends with students, advisors, mentors and
teachers. Being in the EOF Club taught me time management skills
and gave me someone to turn to any time of the day."
Colyer proved a solid student. She was named to the President's
List and was selected for Who's Who Among Students in American Junior
One of Colyer's fondest memories is participating in Women Take
Flight®, a confidence-building weekend workshop for a select
group of women who took flight instruction at Trenton-Mercer Airport.
"It was a wonderful experience," Colyer said. "I
got to lift off and land a Cessna. I even earned a credit toward
During her time at MCCC, Colyer did a bit of soul searching, ultimately
ruling out a career as a state trooper. Acknowledging the potential
dangers of patrol duty, she decided that her daughter needed her
She began to investigate other ways she could serve the community,
working in administrative jobs for an elder care facility, computer
firm, law firm and publishing company.
Returning to her roots in Pennsylvania in 2009, Colyer presently
works at Skills of Central Pennsylvania in State College, Pa., providing
administrative and public relations support for a non-profit agency
that serves the needs of individuals with mental and physical disabilities.
"I love what I am doing because I've always wanted to change
someone's life for the better," Colyer said. She is now pursuing
employment as a caseworker for her local Family Children & Youth
Services, which will allow her to continue to focus on helping others.
All the while, Colyer says she has drawn on the preparation she
received at Mercer. "Those who say that they can't do something
are interrupting those who are doing it," she maintains. "I
truly believe there is no reason to give up just because you hit
a bump in the road!"
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