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Graduate Essays - Robert Phelan: ECC gave me the confidence I needed

Graduation Cap

A few ECC graduates share what this achievement means to them

Tags: Accomplishment | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 12/11/2020
December 2020 Graduate Robert Phelan.

December 2020 Graduate Robert Phelan.

When I first walked into Elgin Community College, I was intimidated. I had been out of school for seven years and was working at my local grocery store. In between shifts, my dad would encourage me to apply to ECC. So, I did and was relieved to be accepted. Yet, that first step did little to assuage my fears.

Thankfully, my fears were completely unfounded. ECC gave me a structure in my life that I lacked and changed me as a person. I now had objectives to focus on and responsibilities to uphold. Also, I made new friends and found new hobbies. Teachers and students encouraged me to grow beyond where I was. They helped me discover my potential to do whatever I put my mind to, giving me the confidence I lacked before ECC.

Half-way through my education, I decided to join the Gamers United club and was eventually elected as Vice President. This position introduced me to the responsibility of running a club and working with ECC staff. It helped me develop my teamwork and communication skills. Also, I gained a sense of pride for my efforts, a feeling I had been lacking. My efforts would culminate in winning a leadership award in Spring 2020, an achievement I value highly.

I would recommend Elgin Community College to all future college students as their first choice. ECC is filled with great people – faculty, staff, and students - who will help you on the road to success.


– Robert Phelan, Algonquin
   Associate in Arts


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