Marymount alumna Vernita West ’93 is a world traveler with Egypt, Italy, South Africa and Panama among her favorite destinations visited. Vernita shares her fondest memories during her time at Marymount and her unique college experience with small classes and caring instructors.
She completed her AAS degree in Secretarial Science and moved from a small town in Louisiana to Los Angeles in 1974 in search of greater job opportunities. After hearing about Marymount through a colleague, she decided to go back to school. Education was a priority for Vernita, and while she had already taken classes at different colleges since relocating to California, Vernita says that with the help of her mentor and Marymount’s weekend college program, she could “see the light at the end of the tunnel for accomplishing my dream of graduating with a bachelor’s degree.”
One of Vernita’s fondest memories of Marymount was while taking math, a subject that she feared throughout most of my school days. She recalls a caring instructor inviting all students that did not understand the math concepts to her home. “The instructor made a big pot of chili, telling the students to bring their textbooks so they can study together and relax. From that day we started a study group off campus that helped me understand that I was not alone. This made the subject of math less intimidating and I was able to overcome a fear that I had for many years.”
Vernita completed her AA degree from Marymount, and then went on to complete her BA in Business Management from Webster University, and an MBA from the University of Redlands all while working fulltime. With her Business Management Degree, Vernita was promoted to a Financial Analyst position from where she retired after 28+ years in 2006.
Since retiring, Vernita and her husband have become world travelers, with her favorite destinations being Egypt, Israel,Bethlehem, Italy, South Africa, Petra Jordan, Panama and Senegal. When she’s not traveling, Vernita is active in the community with emergency preparedness training, community activities, and volunteering at church and nursing homes.
Vernita describes her philosophy in life as “‘Grow where you are, it does not matter from where you start it only matters where you end up’. It is critical to always do your best work regardless of the assignment. You will be judged on your work ethic, self-confidence, pride and passion for always being the best that you can be.” Vernita credits her mom, mentor and Marymount for preparing her to eliminate obstacles that got in the way of being her best.