by Kelly Cox
When Montgomery County Community College student Hilda Hynes, of Barto, was 14 years old, she did a psychic’s laundry for a free tarot card reading.
“I was not a kid that loved school, but I did love to write,” Hynes confessed. “The psychic told me I would write one day and I thought sure, okay. She was right!”
And yet the process of fulfilling her foretold destiny has not always been an easy path for Hynes. She has had a difficult, incredible, and inspiring journey to become the MCCC student that she is today, one who has flourished in her studies and in campus involvement.
“When I came to MCCC I was a non-traditional student. Married at the age of 16, I had spent 12 years homemaking and raising children. When my husband took his life in 2008, he left me to raise three children, ages 11, six and two,” Hynes confided. “I had no education and my life had been rocked to its very foundation.”
Moving back to Montgomery County from Florida to raise her children in February of 2010, Hynes found that starting over involved a certain amount of faith in the presence of uncertainty as she prepared to begin classes that fall.
“I moved home from Florida to raise my kids in an environment and community I felt would help me raise strong, self-sufficient adults,” Hynes said. “As I walked through the doors of the West Campus at 30 years old, I was terrified, I had no idea where the path was taking me and I questioned if I would be successful.”
However Hynes quickly found a place for herself at MCCC, as well as passion in her studies.
“The community of faculty, staff, and students welcomed me with open arms and it wasn’t long before I felt right at home,” Hynes shared. “Starting out as a Liberal Arts major, not sure of my goals, it took only a semester before I found my passion for communications and changed my major.”
For Hynes, writing had been a comfort as far back as her childhood psychic experience.
“Writing for me is therapeutic,” Hynes said. “Through writing and developing characters I can be anybody I can dream of. I like to write about brave women, it helps me to be brave when I am having weak moments.”
After thriving in her communications classes, Hynes decided to take her writing beyond the classroom and found time to write for a local newspaper, eventually being asked to write freelance for The Boyertown Times.
“It is amazing to see your name in the byline and have people say they have read and liked your work,” Hynes said.
Hynes worked hard, balancing school and outside obligations while still prioritizing her family. Her hard work in the classroom paid off when she earned a spot on the dean’s list and was welcomed into in the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honors society. This past semester Hynes not only kept up her academic standing, but also took on the role of vice president for the West Campus chapter of PTK.
Outside of PTK, Hynes has given back to MCCC while participating in the Communicating Arts Production Group (CAPG), producing the end of the semester film screening. In an effort to share her enthusiasm with other students, Hynes is currently a peer mentor at the West Campus, while preparing to graduate in May and move forward in her studies. No matter how busy Hynes gets, she always jumps at the chance to share her time, energy, and brilliance with the rest of the MCCC community.
“I am starting to dream of a career with Montco helping others succeed in the same way everyone at Montco helped me,” Hynes admitted. “I feel truly blessed having had the privilege of attending MCCC and I look forward to graduating this spring before moving on to a four year to earn my bachelors degree. Truth be told though, no matter where I’ll go, I will always hang my heart in Montco halls. Montco helped to rebuild me and make me the woman I am. For that I will always be a Montco Mustang!”