At the end of high school, Amy, like many others, was unsure of her next steps. She graduated from Lane Tech High School in June of 2015 alongside 1,100 other students. While some choose to attend a four year institution straight away, Amy and her family knew that community college would give her the chance she needed to explore program options and reinvent herself as a student.

If you had told Amy then that she would soon be attending Northwestern University, she would have had a hard time believing you.

She began at Wright College in the Fall of 2015, especially drawn to City Colleges after she received the Star Scholarship, which paid for her tuition and books. After two semesters of taking classes geared towards a major in communications, she made a drastic decision. She had found that her passions did not lie in liberal arts, but rather in the sciences.

The summer of 2016 was a turning point for her: she began taking biology courses, working as a student ambassador for the Advising and Transfer Center, and volunteering at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital. Amy says that it wasn’t until she really got involved on campus that she was able to decide what she wanted to study. She frequented the Tutoring Center, visited her professor’s office hours, and found a network of peers with like-minded goals. The guidance she received from advisors, peers, and professors was invaluable. It led her to further get involved on campus, eventually becoming a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the vice president of MD/PA association for students who wanted to study medicine.

Amy and her club worked with the Icla De Silva Foundation to host bone marrow registry drives, bring guest speakers from nearby medical schools, and provide access to free MCAT prep materials for Wright College students. Her involvement eventually led her to decide to pursue a Bachelor’s in Biology, and hopefully, a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies.

With her newfound drive and ever growing ambition, Amy decided to apply to Northwestern University. A few agonizingly long months later, Amy opened an email congratulating her on her admission into The Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences. As a Star Scholar, she was granted a total of $47,000 in scholarships, allowing her to graduate in the fall of 2020, nearly debt free.

Amy says that attending City Colleges of Chicago put her a step ahead of the rest, despite her initial negativity surrounding community college. She describes CCC as a powerful stepping stone, with endless opportunity for success, and urges everyone to see the value of a CCC education.

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