My name is Kori Stoll. I am 38 years old. I graduated high school in 2000, then started at ECC right away. I took a summer class to get my feet wet and started part-time in the fall. Then, I had a medical situation that forced me to take a break. When I was deciding what to do after I recovered, the idea of coming back to school made me nervous because I was afraid that it would take me a long time to finish. When I actually looked at my plan, I realized that I was halfway there, and I thought to myself, “I can do this; this is feasible,” and that helped me push through.
The other thing that contributed to the long road was deciding exactly what I wanted to study. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, but I had a hard time deciding what level I wanted to teach. I initially thought that I wanted to be a preschool teacher, but then I worked as an assistant teacher with preschool kids, I realized that that wasn’t for me.
Oprah Winfrey once said: “Sometimes you find out what you are supposed to be doing by doing the things you are not supposed to do.”
It was during the Introduction to Education course at ECC that I finally realized what I wanted. The class required me to complete 15 hours of observation: five hours in elementary school, five hours in middle school, and five hours in high school. It was so helpful, and I decided that I want to teach middle school. I will be transferring to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education.
Fellow graduates and to everyone who is watching right now, I will leave you with this, even if the thing you want is taking you a long time to get, keep going because it’s worth it in the end.
– Kori Stoll, Elgin
Associate in Arts