When Katie Paolucci walked into the College of New Caledonia in 2013, she was unsure where she wanted to go in life.
For more than a decade, she had been a full-time wife and mother of two. Though she loved doing that, she knew it was time for a change. On a whim, Katie stopped by CNC’s Academic Advising office and learned more about CNC’s Kinesiology program. Soon after, she enrolled.
"We, as mothers, always have a million reasons why we don't do things for ourselves," she said. “I really wasn't going to do it, but CNC made the decision to go back to school easy for me.”
At the age of 35, Katie said she was nervous stepping into a classroom where many of her fellow students were in their late teens or early 20s. She was determined to prove she was more than just the “old chick” in the classroom. As she delved into the program, her nerves quickly disappeared.
“I loved going back and learning again,” she said. “I always had an interest in the human body.”
Though she was in school, Katie maintained her full-time role as mother and homemaker. The program, which ended at 2 p.m. every day, fit perfectly with her obligations to her family.
One time during the program, her son ended up in the hospital on the day of a final exam. Noticing Katie was not there, the instructor phoned her. Hearing what happened, the instructor rescheduled the exam for Katie.
“As a mother, family obligations trump final exams,” Katie said. “It was, without a doubt, my instructors who got me through the program. I was ready to quit a number of time but they wouldn’t have it. I am forever grateful for their support.”
After graduation, she got a job personal training with the YMCA. When the Y’s boot camp instructor left, Katie was approached to teach the class.
“I loved it and never looked back,” she said.
Though she never imaged she’d own a business, a great location became available to her in Prince George’s downtown core. In 2016, Katie opened X-Rx Exercise Prescription where she runs boot camps and personal training services.
Fitness is often something people don’t fully understand and she said it is an amazing feeling when clients see muscles develop that they didn’t know existed.
“It pushes them even harder when they see that those triceps are the result of their own hard work," she said.
Since opening X-Rx Exercise, Katie has welcomed two different sets of work experience students from CNC’s Kinesiology program.
“I love doing that,” she said. “I love to give to the next generation.”