When Ellijah Fristoe graduated from high school in the south suburbs, he thought he wanted to go right to work. But the more he thought about the kind of job he wanted, and the more his mom talked about the importance of education, Ellijah thought that college was the best option. Having spent his childhood in Chicago, he decided he wanted to move back and go to school there. So he decided on Daley College, which wasn’t far from his home in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

“I was scared to go back to school to school, because I didn’t do that well in high school. I think starting at a community college was a good decision so I could get a feel for college before going on to get my bachelor’s degree.”

His advisor pointed him in the direction of the Transfer Center when Ellijah, also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, told him his goal of getting a bachelor’s degree. The Transfer Center Director helped him research schools and scholarships. Now Ellijah will start classes at Governors State University in the fall with a merit scholarship that will cover his tuition for the next two years as he pursues his BA in Information Technology. His goal is to work for the IT department of a large corporation.

The middle child in his family, Ellijah was the first to get his associate degree when he graduated from Daley in May of 2018 – but he won’t be the last. Seeing his brother as inspiration, Ellijah’s younger brother is now studying at another CCC location: Kennedy-King College.

Ellijah encourages others to not be afraid when thinking about pursuing their degree, saying “Persevere. Don’t refrain from doing something because you’re afraid – fear is never your ally.”

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