2014 Student Advocacy Day

Anne Arundel Community College

  • Alyssa Rowland

    Alyssa Rowland

  • Rafael Mation

    Rafael Mation

"It’s changed my life. It opened a lot of opportunities and doors to me. A year later, I have changed into a different – and better – person."

Alyssa Rowland knows firsthand that getting students involved in college activities makes a difference in their academic performance. She saw that change in herself. Her freshman year was hectic. In addition to her schoolwork, Alyssa worked three jobs and got married. Joining
the Campus Activities Board last year gave her some structure and helped her learn the process of selecting, planning and executing events – skills that she used in her academics and in other parts of her life.

“It’s changed my life. It opened a lot of opportunities and doors to me. A year later, I have changed into a different – and better – person.”

That new self confidence gave her the boost she needed to switch to a pre-nursing program, the career she always has wanted to pursue. As the CAB chair, she tries to encourage other students to become involved. She knows finding a campus activity that they like will help them become more confident and successful students. Her volunteer work has helped her learn time management so she is able to handle all her responsibilities. Alyssa also serves on the Student Association executive board and is part of a student panel that will talk to other students about all the resources open to them at AACC, including tutoring and financial assistance.

"The college offers all the resources that we need to be successful."

Rafael Mation had not intended to earn a degree in the United States. He already had a degree in accounting in his native country of Brazil. His plan was to stay with a friend in Baltimore while he studied English. He came to Anne Arundel Community College because of its good English as a Second Language program but he continued because this same friend saw his passion for working with computers and suggested he get involved with the growing field of cybersecurity.

“I had no background in IT at all, but I always wanted to understand how computers worked – how people could hack in and how other people could stop that,” he said.

He began at AACC three and a half years ago and has another year left before he earns a degree in cybersecurity. He credits the college with helping him. In addition to encouraging him to finish the ESL classes, AACC also provided leadership workshops that gave him marketable skills and also worked with him to obtain internships. His latest one is in the information technology division at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. “The college offers all the resources that we need to be successful.”