"I wasn't sure about going back to school…but I did it, thankfully, and I'm definitely reaping the rewards."
Computer-Aided Design Certification
As a result of the depressed economy, the housing market took a dive, and Mark’s employer, a home builder, announced layoffs – including his. When considering what to do next, he searched for a way to put his creative and artistic talents to use. His grandfather and uncle were draftsmen, and he thought that today’s version of that profession – computer-aided design – might be his ticket to an interesting new career. “Having never attended college, I was hesitant to tackle an advanced level of studying and homework,” Marks says. However, after meeting with an advisor at Howard Community College, Mark decided to give it a try. Over the next two years, Mark earned straight A’s as he completed his courses, and was also inducted into Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Upon earning his certification, Mark was hired by another engineering firm, KCI Technologies, where he now serves as a designer. “I wasn't sure about going back to school because what I really needed was to get a job, but I did it, thankfully, and I'm definitely reaping the rewards."
"At HCC, everyone is so understanding and caring; you aren't treated differently because you have a disability."
You’d never know it from her cheerful, outgoing personality, but Marie has overcome incredible obstacles to get where she is today. A Haitian refugee, Marie grew up in 17 different foster homes, and then, at the age of 16, suffered traumatic brain injury from a car accident. Doctors feared that she would never recover, but Marie was determined to prove them wrong. After 38 surgeries and intense rehabilitation to relearn how to read and write, Marie walked into the admissions office at Howard Community College determined to earn a degree. "At HCC, everyone is so understanding and caring; you aren't treated differently because you have a disability," she says. "Student Support Services worked with me to make sure I had everything I needed.” Two years later, the mother of three graduated with not one, but three associate's degrees in conflict resolution, criminal justice, and sociology. She was also a Phi Theta Kappa honors student, a mediator in HCC’s Conflict Resolution Center, and a member of the Student Government Association as well as numerous college clubs. Marie now attends Johns Hopkins University and eventually earn a doctorate in criminology, a law degree, and become a federal judge.