19 Feb

With Persistence She Overcame Struggles in College

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HCC opened new doors to both academic and professional opportunities

Grit, determination and support from faculty and staff at HCC

Nyrasia Lomax’s academic path has been strewn with rejection and uncertainty. But, with grit, determination and support from faculty and staff at HCC, she’s a handful of credits away from graduation. HCC sharpened her interest in acting, putting her on stage and in front of cameras. She has acted for community theatre and has done commercials. She even volunteered to participate in a You Tube video and commercial for HCC. She is tall, and when you see her, she is always smiling. Her story is about experiencing rejection and the hard work it takes to regain focus and persist to graduate with her college degree.

Before HCC, she received numerous rejection letters from 4-year colleges. Nyrasia knew she needed to continue her education and pursue a career. It was pretty clear: Attend College or get a job. She decided on HCC. She remembers crying as she completed the HCC application. The tears were a result of excitement because she was beginning a new chapter in her life.

Attending college was where she learned about herself and to be independent, to use her own life skills to cope, remain focused, make wise choices and overcome life’s struggles. She learned that having a plan is necessary, but she needed to apply that plan to her life. Oh sure, she encountered challenges and difficulty in college. She experienced struggles in college with staying awake in class and receiving a low grade in Chemistry. Yet she persisted and overcame these struggles by regaining her focus and reminding herself about the reason she is here in college.

Being involved on campus and seeking mentors really made a difference. She was a member in the Gospel Choir and the Christian Studies Club. She volunteered for the Women’s Center and the General Studies program. She had mentors at HCC who made an impact on her academic success: Tracey Chavis, Academic Advisor, helped her choose her classes and understand the courses she needs toward her program. Debbie Kuchmas, Retention/Job Development Associate for General Studies, asked her to make an HCC video about the General Studies program. This project helped her to reflect deeper to answer why she wanted to obtain a GS degree, and where and how far she wanted to go once she graduated. Geoff Sheehan, who guided her with changing her major to Theatre Arts. Eleanor Bloom, English Professor, College’s Writing Center, who helped her how to write an essay, and provided her with an MLA handbook to assist her with writing research papers. Aaron Best, Financial Aid Assistant, helped her with applying for Financial Aid.

She has completed 53 credits, and has four more courses to graduate. Currently, she has a 3.46 GPA. She is ready with a plan for the next chapter in her life, where she will transfer to a 4-year college to continue her college education. “Housatonic has been invaluable in my academic development”, Nyrasia said. “With the help and support of faculty and staff, HCC opened new doors to both academic and professional opportunities.”

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