Things like this don’t happen to people like me; I was brought up in adversity, and I spent most of my life in adversity. There was never a time in my life when I thought I would be graduating from college with a 4.0 GPA, be selected as a commencement speaker, and have a full-time job in the field in which I am earning my degree.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that the only things I am in control of in this life are my choices. I could never control the circumstances life had dealt me, and I definitely could not control how people treated me…but I could control how I reacted to it all.
When I was 22, I chose to react by taking my past and using it as a catalyst for personal evolution. I did this by deciding to go to Elgin community College. I found my passion—substance abuse counseling—and was immediately overwhelmed with this feeling of purpose and an insatiable hunger for knowledge.
ECC changed my life. It offered me the resources and tools needed to transform my world and take control of my future. Above all else, I have learned that there is absolutely no reason why anyone should settle. We can’t control a lot of things, but we have the power to create a positive and bright future for ourselves. The lifelines are out there, and I found mine at Elgin Community College.
~ Solana A. Victoria, Bartlett