2441 Kenwood Circle, Mansfield, Ohio 44906 • 419-755-4800 • 888-755-4899

Ma'Tia Porter on the North Central State College campus

Obstacles Cannot Be Excuses

If there is one thing to take away from meeting Ma’Tia Porter, it’s that she firmly believes obstacles in life are not excuses.  Instead, she believes everyone needs to work past them to accomplish their dreams.

Porter is a 2014 graduate of Mansfield Senior High School, where she received numerous awards and recognition, including the Mansfield Rotary McGowan Courage Award.  The award is presented to the student who displays outstanding courage in the face of adversity.  She was one of nine students that year to receive the recognition.

Porter has overcome adversity in her life.  Ashley Benson, Director of TRiO Support Services at North Central State College, speaks highly of Porter.  She says, “Ma’Tia has overcome so many obstacles in her life. She is hearing impaired. She doesn’t have a computer at home or easy transportation.”  Benson continues, “Sometimes she will call me for a ride, and I am happy to take her to the Kehoe Center so that she can work on her studies.”

She was also able to take advantage of the free bus service available for students. The Richland County Transit Board (RCT) joined forces with NC State College to provide free bus service to all students. The free bus service includes service to campus and all regular RCT routes in Mansfield, Ontario and the Kehoe Center in Shelby, where Porter takes her graphic design classes.

Porter is an incredibly creative student.  She relies on the school’s computers to be able to design her homework.  She is not only busy studying to become a graphic designer.  She also participates in several groups on campus.

She is Vice President of the National Society of Leadership and Success, also known as Sigma Alpha Pi.  She is also a student worker for TRiO Student Support Services and is an Admissions Ambassador at NC State College.  Porter says it is a delight to work for TRiO: “I love the joy of seeing your friends smiling, the laughter from the staff and students of TRiO Student Support Services.  Just being there for anyone who is in need is important to me.  I love to help people!”

Barb Keener, Manager of Tutoring and Transition Services at North Central State College as well as the advisor of the Phi Theta Kappa Honorary Society, says Ma’Tia has come a long way, “She has worked very hard to learn and be prepared for college.  When she first came here, she was very shy and nervous.  She had to work very hard to earn good grades, but she did it.  She never gave up.”

Porter says she tries to help North Central State College the best she can on a daily basis.  The proof of her success is in the many awards she has received at the college.  Porter was awarded the TRiO Distinguished Merit Award and the TRiO Spirit Award.  She was also chosen for the Ohio First Scholarship & TRiO Scholarship and made dean’s list for the fall of 2015.

One of the biggest awards she has received came this year.  Porter was runner-up for Student of the Year.  When Porter first heard about the honor, she was completely surprised.  She says, “At first I didn’t think I was going to get it.  I had my doubts.  I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard I won Student of the Year runner-up!  I am still in shock!”

With all that she has already accomplished, she isn’t done achieving all of her goals yet. She plans to graduate with her associate degree in December of 2017.  Porter says, “I plan on working in my career field to get more experience by being a freelance photographer.  I plan on saving up enough money to attend Kent State University in the fall of 2018.”  Her ultimate goal is to one day work for a fashion magazine company.  


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