Shortly after completing high school, Angelika Szymanowska moved from Poland to the Northeast side of Chicago and began her journey at Wright College. Angelika first enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to improve her English skills and eventually transitioned into college credit classes to continue her education in cybersecurity.

In addition to the common obstacles of starting a life in a new country, Angelika also had to endure financial obstacles as a full-time student and part-time employee. To her advantage, Angelika stumbled upon the Chicago Connected program at City Colleges, which offers free home internet access to eligible students. Without hesitation, Angelika decided to apply, and, to her relief, she was eligible.

As Angelika reflected on her experience with getting connected, she appreciates how straight forward the process was and the support she received from the Chicago Connected team with any questions she had.

“The Chicago Connected team was responsive,” she said. “I have not had any issues and would recommend the program to any other student.”

Based on her positive experience, Angelika is now encouraging other students to apply for the Chicago Connected program. With internet connectivity, she can continue taking her classes in cybersecurity, with the goal of pursuing a bachelor’s degree or working full-time in the industry after graduation.