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Kenia Najera ready for next chapter after conquering challenges at ECC

Kenia Najera

ECC graduate, Kenia Najera

When I began looking at colleges, it was obvious that financially, the smart choice would be to attend Elgin Community College. I was not prepared to go off to a big university and I knew attending ECC would bring me closer to achieving my dream.

They say the best years of your life are in high school; however, the best years of my life have been at ECC. The experiences I've had shaped me into a better individual in all aspects of my life. The dedicated professors have prepared me for any academic challenges in the future.  I've developed a positive attitude towards my studies and have discovered more about myself by being part of clubs and organizations on campus. The support and advice from my club advisors has helped me grow and conquer many obstacles in my life. Now, I feel beyond prepared to attend a four year university. I look back at how much I have improved as a student, leader, and as a person and I could not be more thankful. However, it wasn't an easy path. As a first generation college student, there were many times where I felt alone and did not know where to go for help. My biggest challenge was during my first semester when I had to do everything by myself because my parents were new to this too. However, I kept a positive mindset. I tried not to look at how far I was from reaching my goal but rather how much closer I was getting to it by getting an education. Being the first in my family to go to college was a mix of emotions, but it became my single most important motivator to earning my degree.

My advice to current ECC students would be to make your college proud to have you and become involved in your community. College is a great opportunity to become the most amazing version of yourself. Make an impact in someone's life.

Looking back, I can see Elgin Community College was an important stepping stone in my career. Reaching this point in my life was due to the amazing help of many faculty and staff members who welcomed me with open arms and I could not be any more thankful for all their support.      

Kenia Najera

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