Apr 3, 2014
Scholarship recipient Cathy Reich followed her passion, designed her own degree, and created a new career.
Cathy Reich has always loved gardening. So when she found herself downsized from an office job at a large corporation, she chose to turn a setback into a step forward. “I wanted to combine my passion for gardening with helping people create something new,” says the 39-year-old Neenah native. “I saw a need in the marketplace for a more personalized approach to landscape gardening.”
As a two-time scholarship recipient with the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation, Reich is grateful for the support in building her new career. “The scholarships were a huge help for me,” she says. “As a single person on a very limited income, it would have been very hard for me to have paid for my degree.”
Reich’s company, Beauty By The Yard, LLC, recently celebrated its second anniversary. She credits her success to both the academic and financial support she received from FVTC. “I wanted to focus on growing and caring for plants as well as diagnosing problems,” she says. “However, I wasn’t interested in the construction and building aspects within the existing programs, so I designed my own associate degree, Sustainable Horticulture and Agriculture Specialist, to provide me with what I needed to succeed.”
As a student, Reich worked in the campus greenhouse growing plants and exploring different treatments. In addition, she gained real-world practical experience in skills such as tree trimming. “Fox Valley Tech has all types of state-of-the-art equipment,” she says. “The college makes sure its graduates know what they’re doing.”
Today, Reich’s company provides customized garden solutions to a rapidly expanding customer base. It offers an array of individually tailored services, including planting, weeding, trimming, general maintenance, and design implementation.
A Foundation for Giving
Based on the college’s strong enrollments, the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation needs your help. Please join us in helping students!
10,200 students are eligible to receive an FVTC scholarship
$500 will award one scholarship annually
$1,000 will award one scholarship each semester
$10,000 will establish an endowed scholarship fund, and that can be done in 5 years