Quatina “Tina” Frazer had a great role model while growing up—her mother, Sharon Locklear. As a middle school-aged child, Tina remembers being in the classroom with her. That classroom was at Middlesex Community College.
Flash-forward to 2005, Tina is once again at Middlesex, this time as a business student. While she thought it was cool to be in a college classroom as a child, it also inspired her to return years later, following in her mother’s footsteps.
But she had some challenges before that. Tina went to Middletown High School, and in 1999, before she was able to graduate, she became a parent of two boys. This did not deter her will, because in 2000, she earned her adult high school diploma from Middletown’s Adult Education program, graduating along with her maternal grandmother.
While she was working at Subway training managers, she thought, “Why can’t I be a manager?” So in 2005, she enrolled at MxCC, studying medical transcription just like her mother.
That program was later phased out, so Tina began working toward an associate degree in business administration. She excelled enough to receive scholarships, earn a spot in the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and was part of Connecticut’s All-Academic Team that was recognized at the state capitol in Hartford.
Tina graduated from MxCC in 2008 and easily transferred to Central Connecticut State University. However, now the mother of four boys and on the verge of a divorce, Tina discovered traveling to New Britain became harder to manage, so she continued her studies at Charter Oak College. She earned a BS, with honors, concentrating in business administration in 2011. Her mother also completed her bachelor’s in general studies from Charter Oak a few years earlier.
What motivated Tina as she collected her educational achievements? “My kids,” she stated without hesitation. “They are the reason to get out of bed each day. They are ‘my reason’ why I do what I do. I want to be a good role model for them, just like my mother was for me.”
Tina praises MxCC for giving her the tools and knowledge to advance in the workforce. In addition to her degree, she earned valuable experience as a work-study student in MxCC’s enrollment office. In 2009, Tina returned there as a part-time educational assistant. She appreciates the good advice of her former MxCC supervisor, Mensimah Shabazz, who counseled her while at Middlesex, and fondly remembers business professors Patricia Raymond and Ben Boutaugh. Tina also recognizes her audio production instructor at MxCC, John Bergeron.
What else does Tina sing about? Well, she really does sing at her church, and has written music, hoping to record in the near future. Plus, like her grandfather, The Rev. Howard Locklear Sr. who is also a MxCC graduate, Tina is a reverend, ordained in 2013, and can officiate at weddings and funerals.
Tina and fellow MxCC student Alan Marshall are also involved with N.U. Generation (Noble and Unique), an organization that equips teens and young adults into leaders using God’s principles. They participate in community projects with the organization such as B.O.O.T. Camp, partnering with Shiloh Christian Church in Middletown and N.U. Generation’s Leadership Academy.
Currently, Tina is employed as a full-time administrative assistant in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program (GLSP) office at Wesleyan University. Soon she can sing even louder, as she is halfway through earning another achievement, a master of arts in liberal studies from Wesleyan.
Meanwhile, the Frazer path at MxCC continues today, as Tina’s oldest son Isac just began his first semester at Middlesex this month, studying computer information technology. He has helped his mom with her songs and hopes to someday become a music producer.
Tina’s three younger sons, Andre Jr., Mackenzie and Elijah, also stepped into an MxCC classroom last month, earning certificates from Professor Donna Hylton’s summer camp for area youth, where they learned how to code game apps.
When asked what she would tell others going through similar life challenges, she said, “Don’t focus on the time, focus on your ‘reasons’ and on the end result.”