Tracie Colbert Inspired By Community & Her Children In Pursuit Of Limestone University Degree

Charles Wyatt
Tracie Colbert

Tracie Colbert is currently a junior social work major at Limestone University, having enrolled in the Fall of 2023 after studying for years at a nearby community college. She is also a single mother of two children, ages 9 and 11, and they continue to be major factors in her decision to obtain her degree.

“They’re my main reason,” she said of her children. “If they can see me fulfilling my dreams of doing what I want to do, then hopefully it will help them realize their own.”

Colbert, a Chesnee-native, worked in accounting for several years, moving up in the industry despite not having a degree. However, she knew then that she had always wanted to be at stay-at-home mom once she had kids, with the goal of going to college after her youngest started school. As that time approached, she began thinking about what she would want to study.

“My husband died in 2017, and the amount of people who stepped up and helped throughout that was amazing,” she explained. “Now, I just want to give back, I want to help people. And social work is a wonderful way to do that.”

After moving back to her hometown of Chesnee from Maryland, Colbert began looking for programs in the area that were close enough for her to attend in-person classes. She started out at Spartanburg Community College while also working a part-time job, and then found Limestone as the best option to complete her bachelor’s degree.

“I was a nervous wreck on that first day, I did not know where I was going. But I guess everyone feels that way to some extent,” she noted. “About a month in I truly realized that I could do this, that this is what I am supposed to be doing. And I just know I’m right where I am supposed to be now. I love this campus, the professors are great, you’re learning, but you are also having fun.”

Following the current semester, Colbert will begin preparing for the required social work internship as part of her senior year. After graduation, she hopes to work in a nursing home, but particularly loves that social work is a broad field with plenty of opportunities. She also intends to apply for the Master of Social Work program at Limestone. Until then, she is excited to keep learning, keep creating new relationships, and, most importantly, keep being a significant role model for her children.

“I just needed a change, and I want to be able to give back to the community,” she said. “But I also just want my kids to see that you can persevere and go through hard stuff and still come out and do what you want to do and end up where you feel like you’re led.”

March is National Social Work Month, an observance that recognizes the dedication and empathy social workers across the country deliver while providing services to children and adults in need. Social workers are advocates, advisors, counselors, and facilitators in schools, clinics, businesses, and government offices.

To learn more about Limestone University’s social work program, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, please click HERE