Thanks to all of our students and alumni for sharing their JJC story.
2018 Student Testimonials
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 | 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 | 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 | 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 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 | 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 | 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.”
“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 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.
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.
Kevin Egan | Associate in 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 | 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 | 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.”
"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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.