Hiawatha Clemons III

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hiawatha

Age: 29

Degree/certificate: Associate degrees in social science and general studies.

Graduated: December 2012

Why TCC: I’d heard good things about TCC and the transfer options. I needed a good foundation and TCC made it possible for me to do well as I continued my education. I remained dedicated and did the work necessary for success, and TCC opened doors for me.

I was as nervous as the next person. But here I am, on the verge of becoming a college graduate. I’m very grateful for my start at TCC.

While at TCC: The care and compassion of Emanuel Chestnut at the Center for Military and Veterans Education made all the difference. There were so many people at the college who became my support network and were there for me. While at TCC I served as parliamentarian for the Student African American Brotherhood and later served in the same position for the Student Government Association. I loved my time and the growth opportunities provided by my experiences in these groups.

Paying for college: I’m a former Marine. When I started at TCC, I was working for the State Department full time and later did a paid fellowship for The Mission Continues, serving as a teacher’s assistant and mentor for at-risk youth. I also used the post-9/11 GI Bill to pay for my education.

What’s next: I’m now at Old Dominion University working toward a bachelor’s in human services and special education. I currently have a 3.9 grade point average and will graduate in summer of 2014. I just returned from a dream study abroad trip to Tuscany, Italy, where I was schooled at a counseling institute. My ultimate goal is to become a school counselor, to help children be all they can be.

Advice to other students: Keep in mind that if a former special education student like me can serve his country and then go back to school, then anybody can do it. I was as nervous as the next person. But here I am, on the verge of becoming a college graduate. I’m very grateful for my start at TCC.

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