Past Testimonials

Thanks to all of our students and alumni for sharing their JJC story.

  • 2019 Testimonials

    Ramon Echeverria

    Ramon Echeverria | Grundy Workforce Services

    "I loved that all the instructors at JJC had real world experience that they brought to the classroom. The knowledge of knowing what to expect in the work environment really complements their methods of teaching."

    In fall 2018, Echeverria received the Edward Valintis scholarship for $1,000.

    Learn how Ramon found success by using Grundy Workforce Services.

    January 2019 spotlight

    Carli McGinn

    Carli McGinn

    "Not only do I feel that the instructors prepared me very well for my field, I believe they are very knowledgeable, easy to talk to, and very willing to make an effort to give their students the one-on-one time that they need to reach their goals."

    During her time at JJC, McGinn was the recipient of multiple scholarships through the JJC Foundation. 

    January 2019 spotlight

    Mary Elizabeth Bowden

    Mary Elizabeth Bowden | Fine Arts

    "I loved attending JJC because of the selection of interesting classes and amazing teachers,” said Bowden. “I was very happy to choose my own schedule. My brothers attended JJC with me and this is where we became best friends. Some of my favorite classes were William Yarrow's Shakespeare class and jazz band. I felt like I was able to find my own creative voice at JJC."

    February 2019 spotlight

    Ben Reynolds

    Ben Reynolds | Orthotics & Prosthetics

    "After my junior year of college at a four-year university, I came across the OPT program at Joliet Junior College. Being affordable and revered by numerous workers in the field, I decided that it was the best route to take to acquire the experience needed to continue my education.”

    Bilateral Amputee Hopes to Help Those with Disabilities

    February 2019 spotlight

    Timothy Baran

    Timothy Baran | Culinary Arts

    “JJC will always be my home. You walk through the doors and it makes you want to be a better person. The wonderful thing about JJC is that it will actually help you reach that goal." 

    Culinary Arts Alumnus Loves Sharing His Knowledge with Students & Public

    March 2019 spotlight

    Donna Miller

    Donna Miller | Nursing

    “I chose the JJC Nursing program because of its reputation and because it is extremely cost effective.  I am beyond impressed with this program and the staff.  The staff really go out of their way to help their students succeed.”

    Nursing Department Names Citizenship Award Recipients

    March 2019 spotlight

    Lamas Alexander

    Lamas Alexander | Associates in General Studies

    “I'm a disabled veteran with multiple issues for which I needed special assistance for continuing my education. I suffered several setbacks over the course of my time at JJC, but I am proud to say that I will be walking across the stage to graduate this spring. This was an accomplishment that seemed insurmountable a few years ago. Due to the highly professional instructors at JJC I was able to overcome my fears and the anxiety that accompanied them. JJC is a wonderful school of learning with a devoted and dedicated support staff and excellent instructors.”

    Student Veteran, Working Through Injury, Eyes Degree in May

    April 2019 spotlight

    Sandra Zarazua

    Sandra Zarazua

    “I was nervous attending JJC because it had been a long time since I attended school. But the first time I went the people there were really nice and showed me everything. I still remember that day.”

    Beating Cancer While Earning a High School Equivalency, College Education

    April 2019 spotlight

    Alyssa Zadel

    Alyssa Zadel | Associates in Science

    “It was a smart decision to come to JJC. Everyone here is so nice and I was able to get an on-campus job right away. I help new students register for classes and give tours of the campus. One thing I definitely recommend is to get involved whether it’s a job or a club, because not only did working for JJC help me pick my major but I have made lifelong friendships with the people I’ve met along the way. Now that I’m graduating, I feel prepared to transfer to the University of Illinois".

    May 2019 spotlight

    Shirley Crowell

    Shirley Crowell

    “You learn a lot being among the younger students I think. Things have changed so much, that in a classroom setting I do not mind because I feel like I learn so much.”

    For the Love of Learning: Shirley Crowell to Graduate JJC at Age 84

    June 2019 spotlight

    Victor Colon

    Victor Colon

    “JJC exceeded my expectations. Coming out of high school, I wasn’t 100% sure where my whole journey was headed. With the resources I found on campus and the connections I made, it really helped shape my understanding of myself and what life has for me.”

    June 2019 spotlight

    Thomas Gonzalez

    Thomas Gonzalez | Engineering

    Thomas will graduate with associate degrees in both science and in arts, which he accomplished in just two years. Gonzalez’s academic commitment at JJC is symbolic of the journey that brought him to campus.

    “My first week at JJC I joined Student Government, the Business Club, and International Club. I made good friends, and friends for life.”

    Driven by Academic Success, Graduation Speaker Found his Place at JJC.

    May 2019 spotlight

    Kamil Tomaszek

    Kamil Tomaszek | Nursing

    “I could not have gotten to where I am today without such a fantastic nurse faculty to whom I must praise for teaching and advising me on my journey into the field of medicine,” Tomaszek said. “Without them I would not be as knowledgeable and motivated to pursue such an arduous but very rewarding career path.

    Additionally, I need to thank all my nursing peers who pushed me forward and gave me hope every step of the way.”

    Nursing Student Attended High School During Day, College Classes at Night

    May 2019 spotlight

    Valerie Root

    Valerie Root

    “Not only did I receive a great education at JJC, I was also pushed to reach for more by the support of the staff and faculty that I came to know and love.  All of these wonderful factors gave me the knowledge and power to create my own destiny.”

    June 2019 spotlight

    Joe Siwa

    Joe Siwa | Engineering

    “I always wanted to work in aerospace engineering, but after high school I was going through a lot at home. I chose something that came easy to me instead – culinary arts. I loved it and got really involved. When I graduated, I landed a great job in the city. But one day I realized I needed to come back to pursue my passion. Culinary taught me that discipline and determination are the keys to success – and now I’m taking that with me as I work on my degree in aerospace engineering.”

    Read Joe's story in JJC's Spring 2019 Connections Magazine

    June 2019 spotlight

    Cara Gustafson

    Cara Gustafson | Hospitality Management

    “My guidance counselor recommended hospitality management and since my local community college didn’t offer it, I came to JJC and got an in-district rate. I am so happy I chose this field and came to JJC – Catherine and Anne are really great professors. They bring so much of their life experience into the classroom. I have taken a lot of what I’ve learned and applied it to the restaurant where I work. The best part is I’ve met so many friends through JJC.”

    July 2019 spotlight

    Kia McFarland

    Kia McFarland | Workforce Development

    “I first came to JJC in 2011, but I didn’t complete my degree. Last year, after I had my daughter, I heard about the Connect to Your Future program offered through JJC’s Workforce Development office that could help me pay for tuition. I chose to come back because I wanted a job with more flexibility so I could spend more time with my daughter. I work on campus now, so it’s easy to go from class to work. My advice to other JJC students is to not be afraid to ask questions.”

    June 2019 spotlight

    Holly Pierre

    Holly Pierre | Automotive

    “I am a very proud JJC alumnus of the Automotive department. Mr. Coleman and the other instructors of the program know how to raise their students to success and I will be forever grateful to them.”

    August 2019 Spotlight

    Courtney Schuster

    Courtney Schuster | Radiologic Technology

    “The Rad Tech program at JJC set me on the path for my current success! The Radiologic Technology program director, Bob Verkler instills his knowledge, professionalism and pride into each graduating class. As a result, I was well prepared to enter into the medical imaging profession, as an x-ray technologist. Years later, I returned to JJC to complete the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. I work as a full-time ultrasound technologist at a great company, and I am the clinical instructor for JJC ultrasound students. I would not be where I am today without the education and networking opportunities I received from Joliet Junior College!”

    August 2019 Spotlight

    Michael Freewalt

    Michael Freewalt | Cisco

    “When I started in the Cisco program I didn't realize how much it was going to change my life. In one year I was able to earn 3 certifications, earn gainful employment with better pay, hours and benefits than my previous job. The professors in this program dedicate themselves to not just teaching the material to each and every student, but truly ensuring that all of their students are prepared for the job market even before the complete the program.”

    September 2019 spotlight

    Brittany King

    Brittany King | Child Development

    “Attending JJC has helped me reach my goals. I am so satisfied with everything that I have learned from the amazing and knowledgeable teachers here at JJC.”

    September 2019 spotlight

    Amanda Marshall

    Amanda Marshall | Architecture

    “JJC introduced me to unique professional opportunities, which led me to find a career that I am passionate about.”

    October 2019 spotlight

    Nicky Quartermaine Scott

    Nicky Quartermaine Scott  |  Interior Design

    “Thanks to the amazing instructors who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, I truly owe the start of my creative journey to the interior design program at JJC. Not only did the courses fully prepare me for work in the residential field, but also enabled me to successfully transfer and complete my bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution under an articulated agreement. I even won a tuition scholarship based upon my JJC portfolio! The program encourages creativity, technical proficiency and independent thinking, and as an adult student, I appreciated the flexibility of the classes and being able to attend on a part-time basis to finish my degree. In the professional world, my career has been varied to say the least! I have worked in the residential field designing window treatments and as an interior designer for a healthcare and commercial casework company. More recently, I started my own business working as an artist and am now working on illustrating a children’s book too! I really can’t think of a better foundation for anyone interested in a creative future than the Interior Design program at JJC!”
    October 2019 spotlight

    Brandy Der Kacy

    Brandy Der Kacy | Cisco

    “I’ve found a place and an opportunity to where I can have growth as a human being and in my career. And JJC helped me get that.”

    How an Alumna Got the Most out of JJC’s Student Services
    November 2019 spotlight

    Eric Perczynski

    Eric Perczynski  |  Radiologic Technology

    "JJC provided me with a foundation that propelled me forward and allowed me to succeed in my career. I credit the Radiologic Technology program at JJC with helping me to establish a work ethic and attitude that set me up for long-term personal and career growth."
    November 2019 spotlight

    Megan O'Neill

    Megan O'Neill | Fire Science/EMS

    “JJC prepared me for my current career in multiple aspects. Instead of just sitting and looking through PowerPoints and textbooks, we actually were able to go out into the field and work side-by-side with local paramedics and firefighters to help with patient care.”
    December 2019 spotlight

    Matt Sackman

    Matt Sackman | Automotive Technology

    “The cost at JJC when I went was very affordable and the variety of technical classes and degrees is why I chose JJC. I also worked 30-40 hours a week. The times and availability of classes allowed me to work those hours and attend college.”
    December 2019 spotlight


  • 2018 Testimonials

    Evan Alling

    Evan Alling | Nursing

    "The nursing simulation lab is great for establishing comfort in a myriad of healthcare scenarios. The student support system is incredibly beneficial, the instructors are kind and understanding on top of their clinical experience. The relationships you develop with your classmates and more specifically my clinical group has been my favorite part".

    In spring 2018, Alling was selected for the Nursing Citizenship Award, which honors students who demonstrate outstanding qualities in attitude, academics, character, community service, and school spirit."

    Alling is also a recipient of the Jeanette Wirt scholarship, a gift of $1,000, in fall 2018. 


    Kathleen Bailey

    Kathleen Bailey | Business Administration

    "I came to JJC because I wasn’t sure what I wanted my major to be. JJC gave me the opportunity to try out different electives at an affordable cost. The marketing classes were fun and interesting and after I learned more about the field, I chose to get my Associate in Arts in Business Administration. Transferring was very smooth – JJC helped me choose the classes that would directly transfer to St. Francis. In spring 2018, I’ll graduate with my Bachelor’s.”


    Rory Bancroft

    Rory Bancroft | Culinary Arts

    “The instructors at JJC not only expected me to do my best, they pushed me to be the best that I could be. I still hear my instructors guiding me when I teach my cooks how to do a new thing.

    The culinary department at JJC is truly one of the best.”


    Geo cajero

    Geo Cajero | Human Services

    "I’m interested in Human Services because I want to be a therapist. It’s a really fulfilling field and it just makes you feel good to help others.

    Ms. Katralis has a very structured teaching style and she’s committed to you as a student – that’s what I like about her.”   


    Ana Castillo

    Ana Campa Castillo | Psychology

    "As a returning adult student with two kids, I was a little scared to begin my college journey but I knew JJC was an accessible institution which didn’t pressure you to finish a degree in a certain amount of time. I’ve learned that college doesn’t have to be about going from school to home, there is so much more you can do here.

    Being Vice President of the student club, Latinos Unidos, has helped me develop as a leader and I feel like I’ve made an impact on other students."

    In January 2018, Campa Castillo was the guest of Illinois Congressman Bill Foster at the State of the Union Address. She was later awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and is a recipient of the Dream U.S. Scholarship.


    Conner Christian

    Conner Christian | Agriculture

    “Everyone is so friendly here, and my advisors are really helpful when looking for new classes.”

    In 2018, Conner was named a Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar, a yearly scholarship provided each year by the beverage manufacturer to a select number of Phi Theta Kappa members across the country.


    juan Coyt

    Juan Coyt | Medical

    “I had an idea of what I wanted to study in college, but I didn’t know how to get there, so that’s why I chose JJC. It was here that I discovered I wanted to become a doctor and pursue general surgery. My advice to students is to get involved at JJC and in your community because the more involved you are, the more you’ll learn. I also felt like JJC taught me to be a leader. Thanks to my JJC advisors and teachers, I feel prepared to transfer.”


    Alonte Crawfordsmall

    Alonte Crawford

    “When I came to JJC, there were so many resources available to me, including the free Tutoring and Learning Center, Project Achieve and Career Services. Going from a 2.5 GPA in high school to a 3.46 GPA my first semester at JJC really showed that my hard work paid off.

    Through Project Achieve, Deandre Butler mentored me into choosing the right classes and scholarships. He also helped me prepare for my transfer to St. Francis.

    Thanks to the support from JJC, I had the motivation and academic success that brought me to where I am today. I am proud to say that I am a JJC alum.”


    Nina DeBour

    Nina DeBoer | Culinary Arts

    "No where else will you find a culinary arts program as amazing, with chefs that are as patient, talented and downright awesome as they are here! Coming to JJC was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

    DeBoer is a recipient of multiple scholarships to assist in her education. In fall 2017, she won the Harrah's scholarship for $1,120, the Love of Chocolate scholarship, a $2,500 gift in spring 2018, and the Eric Leeson scholarship for $500 in fall 2018. 

    In the News: Culinary arts student, Nina DeBoer, wins the Corpse Cabaret competition.


    Sante Deserio

    Sante Desario | Political Science

    "I think the environment at JJC has helped me grow, especially because of the individual attention professors give you in class.

    My favorite thing about JJC is that everyone is like one big family. It’s a community effort to help the students that come through the door. And a great opportunity for students who might not know what they want to do and come find out why JJC is the first choice."

    Sante was a Political Science major and graduated in May 2018. He served on various JJC committees. He also sat on the JJC Board of Trustees and worked closely with Student Government to ensure the thoughts and opinions of students were represented at board meetings.

    Read more about Sante.


    kevin Egan

    Kevin Egan | Science

    Kevin Egan, ’11, began his education at JJC with a few road bumps. At 21, he was little older than many of his peers, but he was just as passionate about pursuing his Associate in Science degree, even though finances were tight. One day, he got in a car accident on his way to campus – a devastating blow to Egan financially. And without his car, he had no other way of getting to class.

    Thankfully, the JJC Foundation stepped in.

    “Without the help from Kristi (Mulvey) and the Foundation, I’m not sure I would have been able to finish the semester."

    Read more about Kevin's remarkable story and how he has given back to JJC.


    Alexandra Joaquin

    Alexandra Joaquin | Automotive Service Technology

    "As an automotive student, having a live shop on campus is great because it gives us more experience and gets us more comfortable with the work. The professors always help us if we’re not sure about something, but they also say it’s OK to mess up because that’s why they are here – to teach us.

    I would encourage more women to participate in male dominant careers because it’s empowering to be able to keep up with the guys or to do better than the guys".


    Lynn Johnson

    Lynn Johnson | Diagnostic Medical Sonography

    “One of the best decisions I ever made was applying to the JJC Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.  The small class size is great for getting the individual attention you need to be a successful sonographer. 

    The program is organized so that we are extremely prepared for all the necessary boards and that we get the experience and practice necessary to prepare us for patient interactions in both an outpatient and hospital setting.”


    David Kevish

    David Kevish

    "In my time at JJC I found the college offers many personal development and leadership programs to students that I did not know existed here. Taking advantage of them has made a lasting impact in my life as both a student and an individual."


    Jeff McCastland

    Jeff McCastland | Culinary Arts

    "JJC’s Culinary Arts program allowed me the perfect life-work balance as I pursued a second career. Having already spent 23 years as a fireman and a few years in the hospitality field, the chefs in the culinary arts program opened my eyes to blind spots I had in techniques, business planning and career development I was not aware of.

    During my time in the Culinary Arts program at JJC I was able to gain knowledge, confidence and skills from leaders and chefs with expertise, insight and real-world experience. JJC provided a learning environment that exceed my expectations and was as challenging as it was rewarding. The whole JJC environment positioned me to reach the next level by broadening my views, while developing an enduring network made up of former classmates, instructors and chefs.

    I earned an AAS in Culinary Arts that is based on fundamental skills, resilience and independence that allowed me to be focused on building the restaurant I now have and has positioned me to stay at the forefront of the hospitality industry for years to come."


    Randen Pertler

    Randen Pertler | Psychology

    "I want to transfer to U of I, but I decided to come to JJC first because of its affordability. I’m taking three classes that pertain to my major at the Frankfort Education Center and for somebody who lives in that area, it’s nice not to have to make the 30-minute drive to Main Campus."


    Pedro Reyes

    Pedro Reyes | Human Services

    “I have always been interested in Psychology, so when I heard about JJC’s new Human Services program, I knew it was right for me. Ms. Katralis helped me get my job at Cornerstone Services, which has been a great learning experience. A lot of the things we speak about in the classroom pertains to what I do at work.

    I think JJC is a great school because it’s affordable and it offers flexibility.”


    Jazmine Rivera

    Jazmine Rivera | Nursing

    "I feel like everyone here genuinely cares about us as nursing students and works well with us to aid in our success. The nursing program here is tough but it is definitely manageable and it is nice to be in an environment that helps you reach your goals".


    Maria Rueda

    Maria Rueda | Nursing

    “My favorite part of the nursing program is being able to go out into the community and provide care as well as learn hands on. The combination of theory and clinical really makes a difference.”

    In Fall 2018, Maria received the Nursing Citizenship Award, which honors students who demonstrate outstanding qualities in attitude, academics, character, community service, and school spirit.


    Bridget Turrisi

    Bridget Turrisi | Veterinary Technology

    “After I graduated from Carroll University as an animal behavior major, I decided to come to JJC to become a certified vet tech because I wanted a medical background. My goal is to work with big cats at a sanctuary or wildlife rehabilitation center.

    Working in the field without a medical background is extremely challenging, but I understand more now that I’m at JJC. I also feel like I fit in here because I’m surrounded by a bunch of people who love animals.”


    Tiffany Votta

    Tiffany Votta | Construction Management

    “After years of applying for my dream job in construction management without getting it, I decided I needed to start at JJC. This school has an amazing, supportive group of professors and getting to know the other students is great, too. Many of us work full-time and it’s wonderful to know that we are all in this together.

    Being a female in a male-dominated field, I would advise other women to be persistent – you can only make it happen if you try.”

    Votta has established the Pay it Forward Scholarship to encourage other females in this field, and in turn give back to her community.  


    Brandon Williams

    Brandon Williams | Computer Network Security

    "The military helped me become a great soldier, but JJC made me an inspiration to others. It made me happy to learn again. It made me happy to have faculty and staff that care and that I can have a conversation with."

    Williams is a frequent visitor to JJC’s Veterans Resource Center. He was the student speaker at JJC’s spring commencement ceremony.

  • 2020 Testimonials

    Abida Ali
    Abida Ali | Interior Design

    “My experience at JJC has been outstanding. I have truly enjoyed learning from these talented teachers at JJC such as Oksana Alfredson, Patricia Mackey, Gladys Hughes and Maha Abufarha. I feel proud for what I have learned overall.”


    Maeve Bauer

    Maeve Bauer | Science

    “I have dyslexia. It can be really difficult if I’m trying to take a test – especially with the anxiety that comes with it. JJC’s Disability Services Office helped me learn how to advocate for myself. Even if you don’t know what you need, they will help you figure it out. I’m an auditory learner, so it’s nice to sit with headphones in the Testing Center and have the test read to me at my own pace. JJC is affordable and coming here is a very personalized experience. As long as you’re asking questions, there will be someone who has answers.”