Past fuels ECTC student toward bright future | ECTC

Past fuels ECTC student toward bright future

October 20, 2023

For some students, the road to college is an easy one. For others like ECTC student Ursula Davidson, it’s filled with difficult circumstances, missteps and unimaginable challenges.

“I had to hit rock bottom before I ever saw a way out of it,” she said. “I had everything taken away. It took a complete spiritual awakening for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Davidson was born and raised in Corbin. Much of her life included trauma – divorced parents, addiction, domestic violence, assault. After nearly losing her life in a domestic violence situation, her addiction took a turn for the worse. She was in and out of jail and lost custody of her three children. Knowing that she needed help, she came to Elizabethtown for Sober Living, an intensive, six-month treatment program.

“I came here with only a bag on my back,” Davidson said. “I went from nothing and now I have my own car. I have people who count on me.”

Sober since May 2018, Davidson is on her way to earning both an Associate in Arts degree and an Associate in Applied Science degree in human services, with the end goal of transferring to Western Kentucky University to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work. She’s currently working as a certified peer support specialist.

“I want to help people build a foundation in their own recovery,” she said. “As someone who understands what addiction and trauma look like, I will be able to walk with the people I help as someone walked with me.”

In her time at the college, Davidson has become heavily involved in ECTC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society specifically for two-year colleges. She joined because she learned about opportunities and scholarships that become available for members of PTK, and she recently became vice president of both the local and state chapters.

“I hope to show students that this organization provides real opportunities and resources to improve their future,” Davidson said. “Being in this leadership role means I’m able to pave a path for the students who follow behind me.” 

Davidson would like to use her regional leadership role to encourage more chapters of PTK to become involved because many aren’t actively engaged and haven’t been for a couple of years, she said.

“Ursula is a beacon of hope, a leader inspiring other honor students to rise above their struggles and get things done,” said Kevin Parrett, ECTC PTK advisor. “She is very welcoming, helpful and positive.”

Davidson will graduate in spring 2024.

“I have wonderful advisors,” she said. “It has been very easy compared to what I thought it would take to go to college. I thought my past would hold me back. ECTC has helped me gain the knowledge that I need and has opened up the pathway for where I want to go with my future.”

Ursula Davidson