Latonya Henderson

Hospitality & Tourism Management major

I graduated high school in 1997 and decided to attend Chattanooga State to further my education and prepare for the future. Unfortunately, to my dismay, I became a college drop out. I was no longer confident in my ability to be a successful college student.

Shortly after, I begin working for a manufacturing facility and was employed there for 20 years. In 2009, I returned to college to pursue a degree in Business Management. The journey was pursued with great effort. Essentially, I began with developmental courses and then the courses for my major. I attempted to manage my coursework while working full-time as well. As time progressed, my classes grew more intense. As a result, I abandoned the course of study and concluded that college was not for me.

In 2017, my sister-in-law and I had a conversation regarding college. She asked me if I would be interested in going back to school. My response immediately was “no!” Her eagerness to convince me led to sharing information about the Tennessee Reconnect program. I told her that I would do some research and determine if it would be worth it a third time around.

As the new year arrived, I made a declaration that I was ready to grow, utilize my gifts, and live to my fullest potential! The decision was made with a lot of preparation and challenges. I knew that I would have to seek employment in the hospitality industry to learn the business. I am employed at an assisted living facility and love being connected to a great team that provides hospitality to a community.

During fall 2018, I enrolled in the Hospitality Management Program. I carefully selected this major and was determined that it would suit me because of my passion for helping people. The road has not been easy but well worth it. My family, friends, instructors, classmates, co-workers, and Chattanooga State have supported my journey tremendously. I am thankful for Tennessee Reconnect for making it all possible.