There is no doubt that a woman who gathered her mother and children and moved from Indianapolis to Rock Hill because she heard the job market was favorable is brave. Especially brave when she involved a friend in this grand adventure because the friend had a car and Barbara Jean Scatterday needed transportation.
After a marriage when she was 16 and a baby at 17, she was struck with the sudden realization that she needed that high school diploma. She hurried and was awarded her GED. When her second daughter arrived in 1981, Barbara Jean took stock of her life and faced the fact that her marriage was not made in heaven and that her Hollywood husband was beginning to show a few imperfections in his self-made image of grand importance.
After years of struggle and a considerable number of disappointments, Barbara Jean arrived in Rock Hill, got a job at Baxter Custom Sterile and stayed there for seven years. She looked for other avenues of employment, and ended up at Continental Tire, where she advanced to quality control lab technician.
Her position was safe and the money easily met her minimal requirements, but alas, they began the new stylish labor innovation called "outsourcing," and Barbara was without a job. However, she was, according to law, offered an opportunity to go for re-training at York Tech. It was a dream come true.
She enrolled in what she knew was the place to be, and in 2008, she was awarded her diploma in teleproduction. She will receive her Associate degree in Occupational Technology in May 2009.
Ms. Scatterday was amazed at her success. She said, "I always thought my children would go to college, but certainly not me." She not only made her way in this new life, she also was made a member of Alpha Alpha Iota, a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges. She will soon be inducted into Sigma Kappa Delta.
Scatterday made a brilliant discovery in those years of raising children and never reaching her silent goals, all the time thinking that the years were adding up and she would be too old to ever reach her dreamed of accomplishments. Enrolling in York Tech, learning and interacting with people much less than half her age taught her something of great importance: It is not when you do it, but how you do it. She studied, she worked and was honored for her efforts. No one even questioned her age of 57 years. She was a student who obliviously loved learning and gloried in doing a "bang-up job."
Scatterday does not have all of the most treasured attributes of a modern day woman. She is not 5-foot-10, nor are her eyes deep swimming pools of aquamarine mystery. Her hair does not fall in soft blonde ringlets around her doll-like face and no hint of British aristocracy rings when she speaks. If I did not know her story, I would swear that Miss Barbara came from the heart of Tennessee, West Virginia or the mountains of Virginia.
She is chocked full of enthusiasm and a driving need to succeed. She understands the art of working, and she overlooks the fact that she was a slow starter, due not to dreams but to circumstances.
Barbara Jean works filming events that take place at the Baxter Hood Center, and has developed her own company called Scatterdaze Productions. Of course, being a person of both small and large dreams, she sees herself and some of her fellow students running a business that will record some of the grand happenings in this area. I know her well enough to know that eventually we will come to recognize that name and never even think of all it took to make it happen.
Maybe life prepares all of us in different ways to handle disappointments and setbacks. However, there are those who rise to the occasions of bitter trials and happily continue on to the next adventure, never looking back to suffer only to learn. That is the very case of Scatterday; she understands the ins and outs of doing a job and the necessary vim it takes to roll with a few disappointments and to conquer any undertaking with clear thinking and solid dedication.
Barbara Scatterday shows to anyone who is well physically, that age has nothing to do with learning and achieving. She is a remarkable woman, not only because of her success in schooling but also in her absolute belief that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She never thinks of age, and the kids who sit beside her in school consider her an example of what they should be. It is called inspirational, and all who know her understand just what she has done.