A lot has changed throughout my life, but my fascination with computers and computer networks has remained constant.

I grew up in Jamaica and moved in 2001 to Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, a wonderful, diverse community. As a new immigrant, I worked various jobs, but I dreamed of working with computers.

I earned a few computer industry credentials a few years back, including the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications, but I didn’t use them a lot. Technology is always changing, and after a few years, it becomes necessary to get recertified before your skills become obsolete.

That’s why I made the decision to enroll at City Colleges of Chicago. I knew it was time to make a change to shape my career and my future, so I applied to Wilbur Wright College as a part-time student.

My first semester, I could afford to enroll in just one class, so I chose Computer Information Systems (CIS) 101. I was so happy to end my first college semester with an “A” grade. Over time, I continued as a part-time student, working during the day as a chef and attending classes in information technology in the evenings.

Balancing work and school was hard—I’ll be honest, some days, I didn’t know if I had it in me. But I persevered, even through the COVID-19 pandemic that ravished our communities and country and changed the way we navigate day-to-day life.

As the time drew closer to graduation, I knew I was going to walk across the stage and receive my associate degree in Networking Systems and Technology. I graduated in May of 2022 with a GPA of 3.6, and I was recognized on the Dean’s List. I joined the ranks of other City Colleges alumni and was a proud member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

For my next steps, I have applied to Governor State University and hope to complete my bachelor’s degree there in Computer Networks and Systems.

Throughout my journey, Wright College was my rock. They helped me reach my goals, and I thank all the professors, staff, and students that graced my life there. My advice to all my fellow City Colleges students is to go for it, because you can do anything if you stay focused and true to your goals.

—Fabian Williams, Wright College, Class of 2022

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