Kenneth Collins is a spring 2013 honors graduate of the Nephrology Renal Technology program at Malcolm X College, where he served as president of the Nephrology Club. He is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. Kenneth said his experience with kidney disease is what inspired him to pursue a degree in nephrology. He was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2000 and received dialysis treatments for many years. Throughout his treatments, Kenneth was a very active patient who did a lot of research to educate himself about his disease and treatment options. Then in 2004, he received a kidney transplant that ultimately failed, leaving Kenneth devastated; fortunately, he received a second lifesaving transplant in 2010 that is performing well and has him feeling great.
Since graduating with his Associate’s degree, Kenneth has set his sights on earning his bachelor’s degree in health management at a prestigious 4-year institution. He also plans to provide community outreach to increase the awareness and understanding about kidney disease and treatment options.
“I think it’s important to give back what you’ve learned so that others can benefit from it, too,” he said.
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Spring 2013 Malcolm X College graduate Lynn Morris, who is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, says attending the City Colleges of Chicago was her first choice for higher education after being out of a classroom setting for many years. The mother of three says she was delighted to attend school close to home to earn her Associate of Arts in Sociology degree.
“I liked the convenience of learning in a smaller environment and appreciated the attention and motivation I received from my instructors and staff,” she said. “Knowing that they had my best interest at heart was very important to me.”
Although Lynn has had to overcome a few obstacles along her educational path, the self-motivated graduate says she never lost sight of her goal to earn her degree so that she could help others through counseling. Today, Lynn is preparing to transfer to a 4-year institution in the fall and is considering scholarship offers from major universities to work on her bachelor’s degree in sociology.
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Ariana Novak says she has learned a lot about leadership as a student athlete at Malcolm X College. As captain of the Lady Hawks basketball team, this spring 2013 graduate credits her coach, Kim McQuarter, with giving her the confidence she needed to succeed in class and on the court. She graduated with her Associate in General Studies degree, and recently signed a Letter of Intent with Western Missouri State, where she will be attending this fall.
“I’ve never been the leader I wanted to be until I got to Malcolm X College,” explained Ariana. “Coach Kim McQuarter really put me in a position where I had to step up my game, and she gave me the confidence I needed become a leader and succeed.”
Although Ariana was the only returning player from the 2011-2012 Lady Hawks championship team, she says working with her teammates has been an exciting journey. This year the Lady Hawks captured their third consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region IV Division I title and competed in the District Tournament. Ariana was named “1st Team All-Tournament.”
Ronnie Barnes is in the midst of completing the necessary prerequisites to start a physician assistant program. He looks forward to giving back to society through a medical career. For his academic efforts, Ronnie was a recipient of one of City Colleges of Chicago’s Centennial Scholarships.
Ron Hernandez is studying nursing and hopes to earn his master’s in nursing and become a nurse practitioner. Described by professors as determined and diligent, Ron also serves as a mentor on to other students. His academic efforts were recently recognized when he was awarded one of City Colleges of Chicago’s Centennial Scholarships
While she graduates in December, Vanessa’s post-Malcolm X College career has already begun. She was able to leverage her internship opportunity in pharmacy technology into a full-time job. While she admits that pursuing her degree sometimes proved challenging, she praises the student support resources she was able to take advantage of. In particular, she credits joining study groups and obtaining guidance from professors with helping her to succeed. “The support I received from Malcolm X College helped me to succeed as a student and as an example to my 10-year-old daughter,” she says. “Through this experience, I’ve been able to show her the important role education plays in achieving goals.”