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Graduate Essays - Jenna Manzano: ECC has taught me to be proud of who I am

Graduation Cap

A few ECC graduates share what this achievement means to them

Tags: Accomplishment | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/18/2022
Jenna Manzano, Spring 2022 ECC Graduate

Jenna Manzano, Spring 2022 ECC Graduate

Elgin Community College was a surprise in many different ways. I hadn’t considered applying here until a few weeks before school started in 2020. My future was uncertain due to the global pandemic and family complications, but ECC provided me with normalcy. It gave me a routine to follow, and it allowed me to develop self-discipline through online classes. I owe the people of ECC for giving me resources and support during my time here. I struggled with classes and personal issues, and yet here I am two years later, getting ready to graduate.

I will be transferring to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall to pursue a major in psychology. I am grateful for ECC's foundation because now I feel more confident about my life in higher education. I also attribute my success to the student government team. These people have been with me throughout my time here, and they have provided me with advice and guidance to make sure I succeed. Everyone I have met while being involved in clubs has truly been the source of life here at ECC, and I am so lucky to have met all of these incredible people.

I would have never thought that ECC could do so much for me in such a short amount of time. That is why I encourage all students to explore the resources and opportunities here on campus. But, I also want to acknowledge that everyone’s college experience is different. College is what you make of it, and this is what I did with my time here. You don’t have to be involved in clubs or be an honors student. Be proud of your accomplishments and know that you are doing a great job. ECC has taught me to be proud of who I am and what I have done. I hope that it does the same for you.

Jenna Manzano '22
Associate in Arts
Streamwood, Ill.

Visit the ECC Graduate Essays webpage for more graduate stories.