"Community college can be a huge leg up"

When Kelly McCarthy graduated from North Town Academy in 2010, she wasn’t sure what her next step would be. She tried dog grooming and dog walking, but she wasn’t earning much. Then she got a job in private maintenance, but after a few years it felt like she couldn’t progress much in her career. It was time to return to school.

“I never really liked school, but I thought I would try – I figured I had nothing to lose,” Kelly said.

Truman College was close to her home, and Kelly knew she could take some classes without spending a lot of money. When she enrolled in the fall of 2018, she figured as long as she was in college, she should challenge herself-so she decided to study computer science.

“It’s been really hard, but I enjoy it. Science is a lot of fun and this whole experience has changed my perspective – I never thought I would like chemistry!” she explained.

Kelly felt supported at Truman, and faculty, staff and fellow students were kind and welcoming – as a first-generation college student, that was important to her. She is also a part of PTK and TRiO, which helped pave the way for the next step in her academic journey – studying aerospace engineering at IIT in the fall of 2020.

Her advice to anyone who thinks community college is not for them is: “Go for it – community college can be a huge leg up: you get in the right mindset, you can get your GPA up, there are transfer scholarships, and overall a lot of support. I had a really positive experience and would recommend City Colleges to anyone.”