Dreaming of earning a college degree in business

Latil Willis has always dreamed of earning a college degree in business and obtaining a career doing something creative in the industry. So in 2018, she set out to achieve those goals, enrolling in business-focused courses at Harold Washington College.

However, as Latil was struggling to keep up with her schoolwork while also holding a job, she decided to drop her classes, accumulating debt with City Colleges in the process. Learning she might not be able to accomplish her goal was difficult for Latil, but her outlook changed when she heard about City Colleges’ Fresh Start program last summer.

The new opportunity would relieve her prior debts and allow her to get back on track in her college journey. She reenrolled at Harold Washington in the fall of 2020 with a renewed motivation to complete her associate degree, part of which, she says, came from becoming a mom.

In fact, as a first-generation college student, Latil told the Chicago Tribune last summer, “I want to set an example for my 4-month-old son so that he can see me go to college and know that it’s possible for him as well.”

With just a handful of credits left, Latil has decided she doesn’t want to stop there either. After earning her associate degree, she hopes to transfer to Columbia College Chicago to earn her bachelor’s, planning to focus her studies in the marketing field.