Many of our students overcome obstacles to be able to sit in our classrooms and pursue their dreams of earning a degree. Trent Moore is no different. Without any type of formal education or support system in place, Trent managed to obtain his GED and enroll himself in college. After a failed attempt and much self-doubt, Trent came to call Chatfield home.
Growing up in Owensville in Clermont County, Trent attended a public elementary school until about the third grade, when his parents pulled him out of school to be home-schooled. Unfortunately, no schooling followed. Any learning Trent did was self-led and very unorthodox. Despite having a difficult home life and no support or encouragement from his parents, Trent, still a child at this point, worked hard to keep himself from falling too far behind his peers.
By the age of 18, having been “out of school” for years, Trent was tired of feeling like the least educated person in the room. He had been motivated to leave home, found a job, and was finally ready to chase after his dream of an education. In the summer of 2014, at the age of 20, Trent earned his GED.
“It was like I needed to prove something to myself… that I was capable, intelligent,” Trent says.
At the age of 19, Trent was taken in by a family friend, Shari Shafer, who offered him a place to live, someone to confide in, and a supportive environment.
“What family I did have was harmful and I had to get away from them; and I had to pursue non-traditional sources of support, like the family that has taken me in. It took a long time for me to heal enough to begin pursuing my goals,” Trent shared.
After earning his GED some time before, he decided that college was his next step, as it had always been an aspiration of his. Although he was working a full-time retail job, Trent enrolled in UC Clermont full time. Stresses like being in a classroom with other students, feeling unprepared, navigating the financial aid process left Trent with high anxiety and panic attacks. Even though Trent had purchased his books, scheduled classes, and had a student id made, he drove to campus on the first day of classes and withdrew.
“My full-time job paired with a full-time course load, no family or friends to support me, fear of the unknown, it all felt like too much,” Trent remembers.
After deciding to withdraw from UC Clermont, Trent continued working but his desire to go to college did not go away. After much deliberation, Trent felt that the first time around, he made the decision too quickly and the whole process just felt rushed.
“It felt like something I had to do, this was just the next logical step,” he said.
After having several talks about college with the family who had taken him in, the adult children in the family shared they had attended Chatfield College and had had a positive experience. When Trent showed interest in Chatfield, one of the daughters, Allison, offered to accompany Trent on a visit.
Trent’s first impression of the Brown County campus and grounds was that it was a very peaceful place. He immediately felt at home. One particular instance that stood out for Trent was meeting with one of Chatfield’s Financial Aid counselors. Trent remembered the financial aid process at UC Clermont as a very stressful experience. As is common practice, students under the age of 24 must submit their parents’ financial and tax information for financial aid. Chatfield was able to wave this stipulation and help Trent gain “independent status” so he would not have to contact his parents, from whom he was estranged, to obtain their financial information—a huge relief for Trent.
Trent began at Chatfield as a part-time student with ten credit hours in the spring of 2015. He was soon enamored with the classroom environment—something he had never really been a part of. Being able to contribute to discussions in class and engage with his classmates made his education even richer. It wasn’t long before Trent was excelling in all his classes and began to tutor other students in his spare time. As his tutoring schedule grew, he was approached to begin tutoring students officially through the library and learning center. In his time at Chatfield, Trent has tutored more than 10 students, in subjects such as Math, English, Psychology, and Biology.
Trent said, “Tutoring was a very rewarding thing for me, and also a learning experience. Being able to work closely with other students and help ease their difficulties also strengthened my own studies.”
As Trent became involved in classes, he increased his extracurricular activities as well. He was a founding member of the Chatfield Student Service Club established in the fall of 2016 and still serves as the vice president. Trent is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, of which he is also the vice president. Through these groups, Trent has served the community as well as his fellow students. He continues to tutor his fellow students as well.
Trent adds, “The Shafer family has made positive and indelible effects upon my life, as has the family at Chatfield College. I don’t know where I’d be without them.”
Graduating this spring, Trent says he plans to go on to earn his bachelor’s degree and ultimately, a PhD. He has several local schools in mind, although he hasn’t chosen one yet. When asked what he wants to use his education for, Trent responded he planned to be an author, professor, and an advocate for those less fortunate.
“Although I have also felt I had a serving heart, I didn’t have the resources for much community service on my own. I really want unique experiences with people different than me. I believe that is part of a well-rounded education,” Trent says. He even shared that he is considering joining AmeriCorps before returning to school.
“I don’t have immodest goals,” Trent said with a laugh.
“If I had to give advice to someone considering going back to school, I’d tell them to trust those who are willing to help, but even more so, trust yourself. Know that you are capable.”