Antoinette Hicks had been out of the classroom for 30 years before deciding to reignite her educational journey at Olive-Harvey College. She had previously attended two years of college at DePaul University but put her studies on hold to start a family.

Antoinette’s decision to enroll at Olive-Harvey was strategic—she wanted to find a caring, supportive community where she could pursue a degree in early childhood education. Now, as a student ambassador, she’s helping others find that same sense of community.

Based on her desire to give back, Antoinette received a City Colleges of Chicago Luminary Award in 2023. After she earns her associate degree in early childhood education, she plans to continue her education in the field and eventually become a pre-school teacher.