Back in 2017, when I first started at Elgin Community College, I hated that I was attending community college when most of my friends had left for four-year universities. In high school, community college was not seen as a valid option, and parents and guidance counselors perpetuated that belief. With very few friends attending with me and no understanding of what community college could offer, I was fully prepared to hate the next two years. I was entirely wrong in that belief.
During my first semester I received an email from the Honors Program director encouraging students to join a free, one-credit research course. I decided to join, and that class led me to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK). The class was run by the Honors Program director and the 2017-2019 Honors-in-Action Officer, and through it I was able to explore all that PTK had to offer. At the end of my first year, I applied to be the Honors-in-Action Officer for the next year.
My time as the PTK Honors-in-Action officer has really changed me as a person. For most people, my position on the team is pretty obscure, but I essentially lead a service-based research project with ties to the campus and the community. Through leading this project I have learned so much about the way the world works and how it can be transformed. I have met incredible scientists and leaders in diverse fields, and I have traveled around the state and the country to places I never would have had the opportunity to visit had it not been for my position. Beyond all that, being a member of the 2018-2019 officer team allowed me to meet people that will forever be a part of my family.
I will be transferring to Roosevelt University in the fall to major in biology. I don’t know where I would be had I not started at ECC, but I truly believe that I would be nowhere near as successful as I am today.
Tyson Jenkins ‘19
Associate in Engineering Science