Great Things Come in Small Packages
When we meet certain women, once in a while we may think to ourselves: “She’s headed places!” Such is Ginger Crosby, a Georgia Military College graduate. Ginger was awarded her associate’s degree in May 2016. While college graduation is not uncommon for women, Ginger is special because she was working full-time as a Georgia Department of Corrections Officer at Augusta State Medical Prison while also juggling a full-time college course load.
Aside from a deep dedication to accomplishing goals, there are many reasons she was able to accomplish being full-time in both the role of employee and the role of student. Ginger said, “The thing I loved about GMC first and foremost was the schedule. GMC works with all their students to make sure their schedule fits their needs. Being a night shift employee I needed classes first thing in the morning, but ending no later than 1 p.m. to ensure that I got some sleep before going into work for a 14-hour shift.”
She also loved that the staff and faculty were flexible and friendly. “Everyone tried to make sure that I had the tools I needed to succeed.” The college offers free tutoring and an electronic library that can be accessed anywhere to complete assignments. She’s also grateful that Georgia Military College believes in second chances for students who may have previously hit a rough patch. This wasn’t her first attempt at being a college student, but she finally found true success at GMC.
Ginger is quick to tell anyone who asks that she learned more at Georgia Military College than criminal justice education. She learned about critical thinking, time management, and organization. Her coursework gave her greater insight into how the criminal justice system works and different reasoning behind why offenders commit crimes. The soft skills she learned, coupled with the degree she completed, earned her a promotion to sergeant and the opportunity for a transfer last year.
“If I had never gone to school, it would be extremely hard for me to move up without my degree,” Ginger said “The time period is a lot longer before you can move up without one. I would not have had the motivation to strive for promotions either. I probably would have ended up changing jobs instead of staying with Department of Corrections and working my way up the career ladder.”
Now that she’s a sergeant with a degree, she’s also able to participate in a professional management program in the prison system, which puts her one step closer to her ultimate goal of becoming a prison warden.
Sergeant Crosby is much more confident in her career now. Through education, she has strengthened valuable communication skills, which is important working around inmates at a short stature of barely over five feet. She is able to build rapport with inmates by sharing her story of second chances, setting goals to achieve a dream, and how it feels to succeed. Ultimately, she’s not only changing her own life, but also teaching inmates how to change their path.