Featured Stories from Impact Magazine
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions, committed to diversifying the workforce and creating opportunities for up-and-coming innovators in technology and engineering. Since 2017, the organization has awarded more than $170,000 to the ECC Foundation to champion student scholarships.
Jasmine Aguinaga spent her summer like many college students on summer break — riding in the car, windows down, taking in the town. The difference for Aguinaga is that the car was a South Elgin Police Department cruiser and she was working with detectives as a summer intern.
This year, ECC established the Center for Financial Empowerment and Wellness in partnership with the Kane County Teachers (KCT) Credit Union to enhance financial smarts in the community.
Fatima Ahmed looks like a typical college student. She sits in the Renner Academic Library studying for her abnormal psychology and microbiology classes. She leads a student club. And, she’s focused on her goal of becoming a neurosurgeon or neuroscientist. But Ahmed is still in high school.
When young students share their struggles with LaShaunda Jordan, ’15, a TRiO Upward Bound coordinator at Elgin Community College, she knows what they are going through. From academics to mental health concerns and lack of family support, Jordan understands their challenges.
The EWC provides comprehensive classes in adult basic education, English as a second language, and career development assistance. The center serves an area with a high immigrant population and residents facing language, transportation, childcare, and financial barriers.
Jersey Boys. Second City. John Lithgow. Mavis Staples. Graham Nash. These are just a few artists to have graced the Blizzard Theatre stage since the Elgin Community College Arts Center opened 30 years ago.
A native of Nigeria, Habeeb Awolumate left his family and homeland to chart a new course for his future. "For me, going to college was never really a decision. It was always in the plan, and I knew that coming to the United States to study computer science was my goal," he said.
As a child of Mexican immigrants who did not have an education past the sixth grade, Leslie Gracia was intimidated but confident in her decision to attend college. "Being the first to go to college is game-changing for my family and me. Even though it's scary going into something totally new, I know I'll end up with a good outcome," she said.
When Michael Lacala decided to enroll at Elgin Community College, it came with support from his parents, but not without some difficulties along the way. When Lacala's parents were 18 years old, they immigrated to the United States in search of a better life for themselves.
Kristina Brown graduated high school with interest in going to college but instead entered the workforce full time. Then, she received a graduation present from her uncle — a check payable to Elgin Community College for her to explore a few classes, so she did.
To Yesenia Arroyo, a black page represents a world full of possibilities. Since high school, Arroyo's passion for art, specifically charcoal and pencil drawings, inspired her desired career path. "Ever since I started high school, I wanted to be an art teacher. Art is a huge part of my life," she said.
As a student who struggled in high school, Darvin is now an honors student in the nursing program and will graduate in the fall of 2022. Darvin received support from the ECC Foundation Complete to Compete Program, which provided crucial financial support that ensured she could concentrate more on her studies and less on financial strains.
Sergio Rodriguez, ’06, knows what it’s like to be a student at Elgin Community College. Now serving as a member of the District 509 Board of Trustees, he plans to put those experiences to work on behalf of students and district residents.
As the COVID-19 pandemic persisted, mental health became a pervasive and expanding issue. The need to focus on students' mental health became more apparent as students all over the country faced a great deal of uncertainty, unexpected shifts to remote learning, and a diminished sense of community.
Elgin Community College is one of only 11 Illinois colleges awarded a state grant by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to support a new program for certified recovery support specialists (CRSS) and certified peer recovery specialists (CPRS). The new offerings launch this fall with the IDHS grant covering the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other wraparound services, such as child care and transportation.
Elgin Community College is known for offering innovative programs that provide students with access to in-demand training and education. One area of continued growth lies in the programs celebrating a decade of progress since the construction of the health and life sciences building in January 2012.
Maryam Ebadi, a single mother living with a hereditary degenerative vision disorder, immigrated to the U.S. excited to continue working toward her dream of becoming a family counselor. After completing her GED® prep at Elgin Community College, the next step was taking placement exams at her local community college.
The Elgin Community College Foundation and Institutional Effectiveness and Research divisions recognized this challenge for students and established the Complete to Compete Program in 2019 to help students like Amanda Richoz cross the finish line.
Anthony Ramos recently joined Elgin Community College in the newly created role of executive director of equity, diversity, & inclusion (EDI). Noting the significant foundation to support a culture of EDI already in existence at ECC, Ramos looks forward to helping sharpen the college's collective efforts concerning equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Sisters Naomi and Jaime Hjelm believe it's essential for people, women, in particular, to understand car problems and repairs.
The Elgin Community College Foundation Gala Virtual Mas’k’erade: Dare to Dream event took place on Saturday, October 17. The event was the final push needed for the ECC Foundation to surpass its overall goal of raising more than $100,000 for the fund by the end of 2020.
After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, it became clear that the disruptions caused in classrooms and overall student learning were more than an inconvenience. The effects of lock-downs and social distancing bled into loss of jobs, or conversely, increasing demands. The ECC Foundation determined that a solution was needed to assist students at risk of not continuing their educations or coursework due to financial concerns. The answer was the Student Success Fund.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees and students at Elgin Community College adapted quickly to suspend in-person classes and transition to remote learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. As the crisis persisted, ECC’s faculty fully developed and expanded online course offerings for the fall semester, ensuring a smoother transition and innovative approach.
During his 25-year career with the Elgin Police Department (EPD), Cecil Smith rose through the ranks from patrol officer to commander of the Special Investigations Division. Smith’s dream of leading a police department inspired him to enroll at Elgin Community College to help advance his career.
As the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools and businesses across the country, Elgin Community College began to look for innovative ways to support essential workers. A trio of ECC faculty, staff, and alumni found a way to do their part with a little ingenuity and a lot of creativity.
Linda Deering Dean never imagined herself as the president of a regional hospital. When she enrolled at Elgin Community College to continue her education, she was working full time as a registered nurse and raising a family. She appreciated having an affordable option in the community to help her achieve her goal of advancing to a high-level clinical nursing position.
Shortly after implementing Illinois' stay-at-home order in March, the Elgin Community College Foundation established the Emergency Student Relief Fund to help students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one month later, more than 100 donors had pitched in to help reach the goal of raising over $50,000.
For years, ECC alumnus Dean Follmann’s work has been focused on the study of infectious diseases and clinical trials that evaluate therapies. Most recently, it has put him on the front lines in the quest to find a cure for the virus that causes COVID-19.