Alana Arnold Balances Motherhood, Business, and SCC

Viking Spotlight

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[Clinton, N.C.] – Alana Arnold is an Associate of Arts (A.A.) student at Sampson Community College (SCC) who recently returned to school after six years. A resident of Duplin County, Arnold completes the online program while balancing motherhood and managing her small business, Moné Café.

Graduating from high school in 2017, Arnold applied to SCC in 2021. At the time, she had attempted to enroll at James Sprunt, due to its locality, but wasn’t able to get in. Eventually, Arnold began researching other community colleges nearby and found SCC, about 40-minutes from where she lived.

Enrolling as an online student in the A.A. program, Arnold worked as both a full-time mother, employee, and student. However, the load became overwhelming to her, so she took a break and returned again in 2023— now planning to graduate in December 2025.

She elaborated on her decision, “I wanted to be my own boss. I didn’t get as much money as I would if I had a college education. That’s what led me to go back to school, I wanted to work for myself and help my son. I mostly wanted to do it because I wanted my son to see that just because you graduated high school and didn’t go back to college right away, you can go back to college whenever it is best for you. When you feel it’s your time, you do it when you feel ready.”

In addition to raising her son and full-time coursework, Arnold is also the owner of Moné Café, a self-owned business she established in December 2023. Selling lunch and dinner plates of southern-style cuisine, Arnold eventually plans on expanding to offer catering services as well.

“I started this business because I wanted people to get their money’s worth when it comes to their food,” she stated. “To me, you usually don’t get the full amount you pay for. I wanted to change that.”

SCC’s flexible online A.A. program has helped Arnold balance motherhood, running her business, and college work simultaneously! (Courtesy photo)

In the future, Arnold plans to continue her education at Fayetteville State or N.C. A&T University to study psychology. She’s also contemplating pursuing nursing as well, enabling her to earn a “little extra money” to help fund her psychology degree. However, her ultimate goal is to start her own practice, specifically assisting troubled youth.

Arnold mentioned that she is grateful for both the education she has been able to receive, and the opportunities that now await her because of SCC. Getting to this point in her life, she remarked, hasn’t always been easy, but in the end, it’s truly all been worth it.

“I have been through so much,” she explained. “Through homelessness, sleeping in many different areas, etc. but I would do it all over again to get to this point I am at. If it wasn’t for SCC, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s taught me how to love myself, made me realize that I am smarter than I thought, and that I can do the hard things. It’s made me love myself more than ever before.”

When asked who she’d like to thank, Arnold expressed her gratitude to Claudia Williams, her best friend and support system with returning to school, and her father. She also wished to thank Sarah Burgin, Arts & Sciences Instructor, at SCC. Serving as both her instructor and advisor, in Arnold’s eyes, Burgin made SCC feel “not so much as a school, but more as a home.”

Burgin expressed, “I have enjoyed having Alana as a psychology student. She is resilient and works hard to meet her goals. Her empathy and friendly personality will take her far in life!

Looking back, Arnold remarked that she would wholeheartedly recommend SCC to other prospective students looking to continue their education. To her, the thought of graduation is bittersweet—she’ll miss the family she’s gained during her time at the College, but is ultimately ready to continue her educational journey thanks to the foundation laid by SCC.

She closed, “I haven’t had a bad experience here at Sampson. I tell people they need to transfer because it’s not just a school, it’s a family. It’s worth every penny. The first day and the last day have, and will be, my favorites. On the first day, you’re super excited and motivated. The end, however, is bittersweet because you’re sad, but you’ve also seen how far you’ve came throughout the whole experience.”

Sampson CC is proud of Alana and of her accomplishments at the College thus far. SCC looks forward to seeing all she will do and continue to do throughout her education and transition into the workforce.

For more information about College Transfer programs at SCC, visit

About Sampson Community College:  Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education. SCC is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all.