Plenty of college students juggle work and class schedules, but few are holding down full-time jobs while pursuing a full academic course load geared toward a career in medicine.
Savannah Frazier ‘11, a political science major with a minor in chemistry, works 45 hours a week as an assistant store manager with Michael Kors, an upscale retail outlet in Queenstown. She paid her way through the first three years of college working full-time at BCBG, a women’s clothing store that caters to those with a high fashion IQ.
“I love fashion,” Savannah says. “I like picking out the perfect items that will look great on my customers, and I know I could continue to do well in the retail fashion business. But I also want to get an education and to be the person my siblings look up to, to be the person who demonstrates that achieving something great is possible. I’m actually considering a career in plastic surgery.”
One of seven children, Savannah is the first in her family on track to complete a college degree. Her younger brother Jeremiah was recruited to play lacrosse at Washington College—they both enrolled in 2007, in fact—but he withdrew from school after his first year. Savannah stuck with it, despite the long hours at work and the sleepless nights spent studying.
“College has given me a foundation of knowledge so I can see the big picture and apply the concepts I’ve learned from different disciplines to everything I do,” she says. “Political science has given me an understanding of what’s happening in the world around me. Chemistry has given me the ability to take everything apart and look at the tiniest elements. That’s how you deal with people too. It all works together.”
At 23, Savannah is older than most of her classmates and has been supporting herself for the past seven years. “I moved out of the family home at age 16,” she says. “Did I mention I have five younger siblings?
“I wanted the fast life,” Savannah recalls. “I went to cosmetology school and had a good-paying job. I was driving a brand-new Acura and living in a townhouse at age 18. Then reality hit. I had everything but an education. I saw how hard my mom had to work to put us all through private high school, and she never had the chance to finish college.”
For Savannah, Washington College has become a second family—a community of people who motivate and encourage her when she needs it most. “Because it’s small, I have people who truly care about me,” she says. “I’m worried about meeting the demands of work and labs in my final year, but my professors know that I’m willing to do what it takes.”
- Major: Political Science
- Minor: Chemistry