La’Ron came to Malcolm X College because he wanted to get his degree in IT, but his experience here helped him better define his long-term goals.

With a dad in the military, La’Ron moved around a lot as a child, but by high school he had landed in the suburbs just south of Chicago in Midlothian. When he graduated in 2006, he started college right away at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. However, when his grandmother became sick just a year later, he left school to come back and care for her. Seven years went by as he worked a few different jobs, first as a senior site nutrition manager, then a coordinator for senior services at Catholic Charities.

He always knew, however, that he wanted to get back to the classroom. As he sat fixing his friend’s computer one evening, she suggested he might like a job in IT. Thinking that might be a good fit for him, he began researching colleges in the area and found Malcolm X College.

“At first, I wasn’t too optimistic about attending a community college. I didn’t know how rigorous the classes would be or how amazing the faculty are here. It was a wake-up call for me.”

While La’Ron was at MXC, he worked as a tutor, started the Math Club, and ended up being the vice president of the Student Government Association. Learning about every resource he could in order to help point his fellow students in the right direction when they needed assistance helped him decide that while he still wanted a career related to IT, he also wanted to help people to empower themselves to better their lives.

After getting his associate degree in 2016, La’Ron headed over to Roosevelt University, where he earned enough scholarships to completely cover his tuition. In spring of 2018, he graduated from Roosevelt with a Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership with a minor in IT. His end goal is to start his own business that helps connect youth to education and careers in technology, but first, he will be back at Roosevelt to get his Master’s in Organizational Development – with more scholarships to help him cover the cost of his education. Now La’Ron is the first in his family to get his associate degree, his bachelor’s degree, and soon his master’s degree.

His advice for future CCC students is to get to know your professors. He says, “Start out the semester by talking about expectations for the class, and don’t be afraid to approach them to say that you’re trying but might need some help. The faculty here are so accessible – they spend time with you, help you, and give you the tools you need to help yourself. It’s the best thing you can do to make your experience worthwhile.”

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