Babette Becker: My Cecil Story
When I began my education at Cecil, as a much older student, I was very uneasy about how I would be accepted in a college atmosphere. I was uncertain if I would be able to keep up with my fellow students simply because I had not sat in a classroom in 34 years. Surprisingly, all of my worries were quickly put to rest and I have exceeded my expectations.
Everyone at Cecil has been totally supportive of my efforts and plans for the future. I feel like some of my classmates have become my second family. My professors and instructors have been wonderful, and I love being taught by people who have a passion for the material they are teaching.
Every day is filled with opportunities to acquire more knowledge. I plan to take advantage of these opportunities. There have been endless benefits and changes from my experience at Cecil College. The most noticeable to those around me is that I smile a lot. I am very happy and fulfilled.
Hannah Berth: My Cecil Story
I am from Delaware but I decided to go to school out of state because Cecil was just a better choice for me, especially with the music program. The thought of a large university with hundreds of people in lecture halls was terrifying. The class sizes are smaller here, and the teachers get to know you more personally.
I have never been with a group of people who all have the same interest as me, so we really get each other. Music has always been my life and it is great to be around others with the same passion and drive. People are here because they want to do this as their career and they are serious about music.
I have been playing pieces on the piano I never thought I would and have expanded my repertoire to make me a well-rounded musician. I had wanted to study music in college for a long time, but I held off since I was working full time. Fortunately, Cecil provided the scheduling flexibility to allow me to pursue my dream.
Anisa Boyd: My Cecil Story
I enrolled at Cecil because I was very interested in the music program and love that it is close to home. Music is my life and I get to sing here. I get to practice a lot and I am learning more in depth about music than I ever have. I know everyone in my program and they are all so nice, friendly and helpful.
I never thought I could be part of an ensemble full of dancers, theater performers and musicians. It's taught me how to work with people of other disciplines and given me an appreciation for all the work that each requires. I want to participate in musicals since they are so much fun.
I don't fall behind often, but if I do it is easy for me to get back on track. Life gets busy, but at the end of the day I know what I have to do to make sure I am doing right with it.
Thanks to Cecil, I am going to earn my associate degree and prepare myself to go onto big, amazing things.
Susan Brown: My Cecil Story
Thanks to my husband's GI Bill, I am going to college for the first time. I was a little worried in the beginning, since I had been out of school since 1988, and expected it to be really nerve-racking. It has not been overwhelming at all.
I really like the friendly atmosphere and the wonderful look and feel of the college. Compared to high school, I have found it much better for me to learn and not have to worry about what people think and say. I've actually made some friends who are my daughter's age.
I have my own business, so my classes at Cecil are helping me understand it better and manage it with great professionalism. I have learned to use my time wisely and become more business smart.
I have been able to do things I haven't done in forever. I want to succeed and show that if I can do it after being out of school for so long anyone can.
Jayde Duncan: My Cecil Story
I came to Cecil College to learn about business and to play basketball. It has not been too hard to balance my schoolwork and athletics because I have the help of so many people. The administrators, coaches and professors are awesome. Anytime you need them, they are there for you.
I have become more focused with my schoolwork and have learned to plan ahead. You need to do your work first and then there is time to have fun. My parents are entrepreneurs and I also want to be an entrepreneur. I plan to own a recreation center someday.
The gym is a big reason I chose to come to Cecil. I love the court and the trophy cases. I am going to make some additions to those trophy cases. I just need to get my schoolwork done and then grab rebounds and score points.
Margaret Goldwater: My Cecil Story
I am retired and came to Cecil College to have fun and continue my education. I teach art and have been taking classes to learn ceramics, so I can add that to my arsenal of what I can offer my students.
The wonderful thing about the classes at Cecil is that you have students of all ages. The range of people in one class with different experiences and levels of education makes for such a more inspiring environment. Everybody has different ideas and tries to help each other. I have gained many new friends and resources for increasing my knowledge.
There are all kinds of classes offered at Cecil, and the options are almost endless. If you want to take something that is not offered, ask for it to be added. Get off your couch and stop complaining you have nothing to do. There’s so much to do at Cecil, so for goodness sake—just do it!
Kurtis Hultz: My Cecil Story
As one of the older players on Cecil’s baseball team, I tried to encourage my teammates and be like a big brother to them. Cecil helped me grow as a person and, in turn, help those around me. I feel like I have grown up and taken on more personal responsibility.
Cecil offers endless opportunities and has enabled me to impact others while creating a better future for myself. Whether you join a club, go on school trips, see a show, or play a sport, my advice to any student is to do as much as you can. The more active you are, the more you will enjoy yourself, and the more great people you will get to meet.
I have transferred to Kutztown University, where I received a scholarship to play baseball and am pursuing a bachelor’s degree. I would like to eventually earn an MBA and be a successful businessman like my father.
Zohaib Ishaq: My Cecil Story
I was born in Vehari in the Punjab province of Pakistan. After high school, my father was adamant that I come to America. When I first came, I attended a school in Kentucky. I was miserable and cried every day. When I called my father and asked to come back home, he said, 'No.' I decided to transfer to Cecil after hearing about it from some high school friends. When they showed me around, I fell in love with Cecil. I just loved the environment.
My first semester, I focused on my studies. Since then, I've become more involved. I joined the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. That really helped me gain confidence.
Everywhere at Cecil, I feel accepted. Every one of my teachers is awesome. The students who go here are fabulous. They're right there to help you all the time. I love being at Cecil, where Ill earn my associate degree. I am transferring to the University of Maryland, Baltimore and plan to go on to become a doctor.
Wherever I go, I will represent Cecil. Cecil is just my home.
Allen Jackson: My Cecil Story
I came to Cecil to take some core science classes, so I can get accepted to graduate school. I never thought I would become a science major, but the atmosphere here has really pushed me to want to learn everything I can about it. The courses and faculty have made me more goal-oriented and focused on what I want for myself. I plan to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and would like to work in conservation biology, especially with sharks.
Cecil has made me more patient as a person, particularly since I became a science tutor, which allows me to see the bigger picture and how the various fields overlap. I have gained a more global perspective on different subjects and people.
Cecil has a very friendly environment. The smaller campus allows you to interact with other students and faculty a lot more. The professors are always there for you. If you have any questions, you just stop by their offices and they are more than happy to help you.
Hannah Larsen: My Cecil Story
First and foremost, I am at Cecil to get a degree. I am also here to figure out who I am as a person and what I want from life besides a job – who I want to be. Cecil is super affordable and it was just the obvious choice to me. I love the size of the college and the way it makes me feel at home. As soon as I step on campus, I always see someone I know.
During my first semester, my younger brother Ben unexpectedly passed away. Although I didn’t want to be at school, I knew I didn’t want to quit and he wouldn’t want me to quit. My professors were very understanding, and they made it easy for me to be able to continue with my classes and still deal with my brother’s passing. It’s kind of like a family here in a professional way.
I work in my family’s business and, because of Cecil, I am realizing a lot about it, how it works, and what I can do better that maybe I wasn’t quite aware of before. There is a lot that goes into a company to make it work, grow and prosper.
Christy Michaud: My Cecil Story
Inspired by an economic downturn and a job loss, my decision to come to Cecil has opened the door to a new career path. I have been a gardener all my life, but in order to consider myself a professional, I needed to be more knowledgeable in the field. I have earned my certificate in horticulture science and am now going for the associate degree.
I graduated from high school in 1970 as a member of the National Honor Society. Forty years later, I turned in a repeat performance by being inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Cecil has given me the right tools for success and the confidence to know I can conquer another career swing.
My granddaughter said to me, ‘Grammy aren’t you too old to go to school?’ I said, ‘No, evidently not.’ I don’t think you are ever too old to go to school because I don’t ever want to stop learning. The education process is continuous because the journey is forever changing.
Katie Miller: My Cecil Story
I never thought I would attend college but my mom encouraged me to get an associate degree and Cecil seemed like a perfect start. I first enrolled when I was in high school and continued afterward until I completed my degree.
Since I was homeschooled, I did not know what to expect from the college experience. The supportive environment made the transition a smooth one, while my early enrollment gave me a leg up on my general education requirements. I really enjoyed participating in the small classes and appreciated how much the instructors were willing to help the students. Cecil broadened my social life and helped discourage any academic fears I may have had.
I graduated with the highest honors in 2011 and transferred to Wilmington University where I am nearing the completion of my bachelor’s degree. Not only have I kept up my high GPA, but my academic path will enable me to graduate without any debt.
Susan Neglia: My Cecil Story
My decision to come to Cecil was based on the great regard of the nursing program compared to all of the others I researched in the region. I had no plans to become so active when I first arrived here, yet I quickly became immersed in the culture. I have been able to maintain a high grade point average while serving as a tutor, lab assistant and honor society officer.
Cecil has given me a strong foundation to accomplish my goals. I have been challenged by my instructors to strive higher than I ever thought possible. I have really enjoyed learning about people from other countries and the lives they have led, especially their stories about what brought them to our little area of the world.
My favorite aspect of Cecil is the sense of community on our campus. It's much more than just a school. I often say, 'I came here for an education; I'll leave here with lifelong friends.' It's the feeling of family that impacts me the most. We are all working together supporting one another and it's a great feeling.
John Piscarik: My Cecil Story
Ever since I was a little kid, I just knew I wanted to be an engineer. When I was younger, I enjoyed building projects out of K’NEX such as pinball machines, race cars and roller coasters. I have always loved designing things and putting them together.
Cecil College is close to my home, and I really like it here. The engineering program is not easy, but you can do well if you put in the time and effort. The class sizes are small, and you can always get assistance from professors and tutors. The students really help each other out. We get together a lot to study and work on assignments. Without all the friends I’ve made here, it would be much more challenging.
Cecil is doing a great job of preparing me for my future. The effort I am putting in makes me feel like I can accomplish almost anything. My drive is so much better, and I have become a more productive person in general. Thanks to the scholarships and financial aid I received, I am not in debt at all.
Dionne Porter: My Cecil Story
I really like the many different opportunities I have had to get involved with everything Cecil has to offer. From meeting the governor, to being part of the Multicultural Student Union, to speaking at numerous board of trustees meetings, to assisting with the foundation, the list goes on. It has been an amazing experience.
Cecil has prepared me for my future in so many different ways. It has really helped me make decisions about what I want do with my life, including my career plans. After I graduate, I plan to earn a bachelor’s degree and obtain an internship with the White House, where I will put to test the skills I have learned here.
Because of everything Cecil has encouraged and helped me to do, I have changed for the better. I have matured a lot, become more aware of my own unique skills, and been able to show others that I’m here and I’m ready to work.
Rebekah Ragan: My Cecil Story
Although I came to Cecil to obtain one degree in web design and multimedia and another in web development, I am also here to grow as a person. I never dreamed I would be able to have fun and still achieve my degrees through hard work, and I appreciate how easy the staff and students have made it to do so.
I really like that Cecil has a small campus, variety of programs, knowledgeable staff, and a family-like atmosphere. After I graduate, I plan to transfer to Wilmington University and then I want to teach Web design and development. Cecil has given me the education and knowledge to prepare me for this career, and it has also helped me to grow in confidence and discipline.
I have learned to believe in my ability and trust that I have the knowledge to pursue my dreams. My experience here has also taught me not to let my disability define who I am as a person and to let my character speak for itself. Thanks Cecil.
Noor Abdel Rahman: My Cecil Story
As a foreign student, Cecil gave me a great opportunity to adapt to this society and become part of it. Whenever I needed help, I was able to find the right people to assist me.
I became much more responsible and social and enjoyed being involved in creative, useful activities. I also loved working out in the gym.
I graduated in May with an associate degree in business administration and have transferred to Towson University. I would like to earn a master’s degree in business and open my own spa business. Cecil has given me the needed knowledge and skills for achieving my goals.
Janice Rockocy: My Cecil Story
I moved to Cecil County after being laid off from a job I had for 33 years. I knew I needed to improve my skills, so I enrolled in Cecil’s technology for the office professional certificate program. Although I had not been in a classroom in a long time, it wasn’t hard to come back. I really liked my instructor, and I was excited to be here. The classes flew by, and I never missed one.
Shortly after earning my certificate, I was hired by Cecil as an admissions associate. I regularly apply the knowledge I learned in the program and often refer to my notes. I can relate to a lot of the prospective students I interact with since I have been in their situation. Many of them have lost their jobs and been out of school for years. I tell them they’ll be surprised to see the range of ages of our students.
I work with a great group of people who are very inspiring. Everyone here cares deeply about the students. My experience as both a student and employee has given me the confidence to take more courses at Cecil in pursuit of a degree.
David Sexton: My Cecil Story
I came to Cecil to earn my associate degree in a way that was affordable and to complete the first two years of my college education debt-free. It has definitely been well beyond show up, take your class, go home, and do your homework. I have been involved on campus in a variety of ways.
My professors were kind, funny, dedicated and very supportive of students. I have become a more knowledgeable, empathetic and well-rounded person. I have a lot more gratitude and appreciation for my community and the area I live in, and Cecil has been a big part of it.
The opportunities you have here are a tremendous value and just as great as those you would find anywhere else. To be completely honest, it has been better than I ever expected. I have become more confident in myself and am continuing my education at the University of Maryland on a full tuition scholarship.
Jade Shockley: My Cecil Story
As a nursing student and a two-sport athlete, I have had some pretty busy days but it has all been worth it. While learning the skills to enter a great profession, I have had the opportunity to play in two softball national championships and make some great friends along the way.
A typical day for me might consist of going to class at 8 a.m.; catching up with my homework from 10 a.m. to noon; going back to class; taking a quick break to get something to eat; heading out to the field for practice at 3 p.m.; and then studying throughout much of the evening.
My schedule definitely helps me because I am used to it. I know that when I am done with practice or a game, I only have so much time to write a paper or whatever else I need to do. If I wasn’t involved in sports, I may put it off until tomorrow. When you have a busy schedule, it helps you get your work done when you need to get it done.
Melissa Shrewsbury: My Cecil Story
I came to Cecil to learn about the environment and meet new people while pursuing an associate degree. Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make. If I had gone away to a university, I would be stressed out about paying back student loans. Cecil was so affordable that I was able to pay my tuition by working part time and receiving a scholarship.
I spent so much time at the college hanging out with friends, playing basketball, and serving as an admissions ambassador. I never thought I would get so involved and have the opportunity to relate to so many students. I have become much more outgoing and willing to try new things. Although I have graduated, I am still a part of the college community since the alumni association provides access to the Physical Education Complex and other resources.
Thanks to my degree and experience from Cecil, I am now a ranger in the Maryland Park Service for Elk Neck State Park. I love being outside all the time and getting people excited about coming to see the environment. Cecil has given me the tools needed to achieve my goals and shape me into the person I want to be.
Roger Singley: My Cecil Story
I always thought I could be a fairly good photographer, but I needed to learn. I couldn't afford to go to college when I was the traditional age and I also didn't have much drive at that point. My drive developed later in life.
During my work years, I never had the time to pursue my interest in photography. Now that I am retired, Cecil is the perfect place for me. The Visual Communications Program is top-notch. The equipment is always being updated with the latest software, lenses and cameras, and new courses are being developed every semester.
It has not been tough to go back to school because the students have accepted me wholeheartedly. We do a lot of shooting and outings in teams and it is always great to work with my classmates. Learning to make movies has been beyond any expectations I may have had.
Cecil is giving me the tools and confidence I need to move forward, so I can gain a degree and start a business.
Morgan Spratt: My Cecil Story
I came to Cecil College to make something of myself. I want to be the best I can be and knew Cecil is where I could do it. I took classes here as a senior in high school and loved it, so I stayed.
Cecil has a great atmosphere, and the teachers are outstanding. Shortly after completing the medical assistant coursework and gaining my certification, I found a job at Just Kids Pediatrics in Newark, Del. and love it more than anything. The staff is great to work with and has really welcomed me aboard.
I am continuing my studies at Cecil and want to enroll in the nursing program. I plan to study hard and do something great in the medical field to help my community.
Cecil has helped me become an independent person and has taught me a lot about the world we live in. With all of the experience I have gained, I know what to do if I face a challenge in real life.
Rachel VanHorn: My Cecil Story
Since I am paying for college completely on my own, quite honestly, the reason I chose Cecil was because it offered me an affordable education. When I arrived here, I realized this was the place for me and I made the right choice.
Cecil has broadened my horizons in too many ways to count. Because of this, I have grown as a person. I have more concrete goals and bigger dreams for myself. I really want to succeed and do something meaningful with my life. I want to be able to graduate from Cecil knowing I made the most of my time here and positively impacted others. I want to be able to help others realize their own potential just like I have.
All of the people at Cecil are truly wonderful. I can’t even begin to list everyone who has been so kind and courteous to me. I feel extremely valued here, and I also like the fact that I am not going to be in debt when I leave after two years.
Matt Wofford: My Cecil Story
Cecil has given me the opportunity to pursue my dream of working in healthcare. As a nursing major, I have been able to work in the field at several medical facilities and receive hands-on training. Everything is so much easier to understand when you experience it firsthand.
What I like most about Cecil is the one-on-one connection I have with my professors. It’s real personal and they always look out for you. I have been able to create a bond with the faculty and my fellow students and make lifelong friends in the process.
Since I was homeschooled, this was my first time sitting in a classroom and it has been better than I ever thought it would be. I figured I would just get my degree and move on, but it has been so much more than that. I have seen so many interesting things and experienced challenges I never imagined I would – all thanks to Cecil.
Heather Yager: My Cecil Story
I relocated from New Jersey to Maryland as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure initiative. This move led to a career change for me. I was initially hired as a programmer at Aberdeen Proving Ground, but I quickly decided I wanted to get into engineering. That’s when I decided to start taking classes at Cecil.
The class sizes at Cecil were a big plus for me because a smaller ratio of students to teachers allowed for more exploration. At Cecil, I was also encouraged to become more involved in the community through programs like STEM outreach. I graduated with highest honors in May with four degrees, which are chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics and physics.
I am now pursuing a Bachelor of Science in electrical and computer engineering at Morgan State University while working full time on my career at APG. Cecil provided me with an affordable and quality education close to home. It also prepared me to enter a four-year program with confidence and the skills necessary to succeed.