HARRIMAN, Tenn. (WATE) — Recent graduate of Roane State Community College Deborah Porter receives the President’s Award upon graduating with an associated degree in anthropology. The award also includes $1,500 and a trophy.

Porter, 47 and mother of three, said that the award was the most amazing experience she had in her life. Attending college was a part of her long-term goals.

When she was younger, Porter’s mother struggled with mental health and couldn’t afford much-needed medicine. Porter added that she tended to her mother at age three and saved her from going into insulin shock.

Roane State President Dr. Chris Whaley, left, and Deborah Porter, right. (News Release)

Before her passing, Porter’s mother also suggested that she enroll in Roane State and was proud when Porter was accepted into the college.

When attending Roan State’s orientation, Porter was sure that she made the right decision.

“I was treated with compassion and respect. You’re never treated like a number,” Porter said.

While attending Roane State, Porter became president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, student ambassador for the Roane State Foundation, vice president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and a tutor for the learning centers.

Her favorite teachers were Associate Professors Jessica Dalton-Carriger and Claudia Cummings, and Professor Maggie Bouldin.

“Deborah is one of the most exceptional students Roane State has ever known,” Roane State President Dr. Chris Whaley said. “Her limitless energy and organizational skills are matched only by her desire to see people’s lives transformed by access to higher education.”

Porter, who maintained a 4.0 GPA at Roane State, intends to go to the University of Tennessee in the fall and major in anthropology and sociology. She said her daughter Maggie, 23, has been accepted into Roane State’s nursing program.

Porter added that her experience at Roane State was one miraculous, overwhelming and stellar experience after another.