Thanks to all of our students and alumni for sharing their JJC story.
“I chose to attend JJC mainly due to its close proximity to home. Additionally, JJC gives me the flexibility to create a schedule that works best for me.”
“The teachers I’ve had were very helpful.”
“I loved all of my classes and the professors that I had. They really care about you and want you to succeed.”
“I captured so much out of my experience at Joliet Junior College. JJC provided me with not only education that turned into knowledge, but networking, friendships and real-world experiences. Being a part of the JJC agriculture department allowed me to acquire a diverse set of attributes that I use in everyday life.”
“What I like most about being a student at JJC is that it provides a space where I can be myself wholeheartedly. I was always met with an immense amount of support from everyone a part of the JJC community from the moment I first walked in. Not only that but no matter what path you choose go down, everyone is beyond encouraging and wants to see you succeed.”
“My favorite part of being at JJC is getting a new family out of my baseball team and our prestigious athletic facilities. Another favorite would have to be the overwhelming number of opportunities. This is one of the few places where opportunity finds you, and all you have to do is take advantage.”
“I love my small group of friends I made. I also loved having an instructor who believed in me so much. I made the best of it because I knew I simply wanted to be in a field where I helped others.”
“I chose to come to Joliet Junior College because I wanted to stay close to home, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future for a career. JJC helped me find what career I wanted to go into while being affordable. It was the best decision I made. What I love about being a JJC student is that there is so much help and guidance here at the college, and all the new friends you will make along the way. All the teachers are very educated to get you to the next level so you can be successful in your career path.”
Lynn Haas | Culinary Arts
“I started my culinary journey with the chef for the day program. My goal was to improve my culinary skills. What I love most has to be the confidence this program has given me. It has been one of the hardest and best things that I have ever done. I truly believe that JJC sets you up to succeed. Everyone has truly been very helpful and supportive. Dytra has been so helpful throughout everything. Chef Thompson, Javi, Dr. Bell, have all been very strong influences. The chefs and teachers have all been awesome. To answer the last question is difficult. At 58 years young I don't know what direction I'm heading. I just know that my future will be in the culinary industry. ”
Jessica Lara | Orthotics and Prosthetics Technology
“The OPT program has been a wonderful experience filled with joy, fulfillment and skill work. The best part of the program is the community and sense of belonging. I would 100% recommend the program to anyone who likes working with they’re hands and love helping others.”
Jesse Guice | Culinary Arts
“The supportive community of fellow students and instructors has been crucial to my success in the culinary arts program. Feeling at ease in the program makes space for a creative and intellectually stimulating learning environment.”
Nalia Warmack | Culinary Arts
“I have been supported by and have learned something from all the instructors and chefs in the department throughout my culinary journey — whether I have had them teach one of my classes or from just working with them in passing. In addition, the lab assistants I have had a pleasure to work under and alongside have taught me a great deal as well. In the three years I have been at JJC, the whole culinary department has kind of become my second family so I owe them a lot."
Ginger Senisais | Nursing
“I know that the nurses that come from JJC are spoken of very highly, and that the program strives to ensure graduates are successful.”
More on Ginger: JJC Nursing Enhances Student Access with Amplified Stethoscopes
Dawn Parks | Culinary Arts
“I absolutely love the supportive atmosphere. My chefs and chef assistants are always willing to take the time to ensure the class clearly understands what is expected of us.”
“What I like about JJC is that it is an at-your-pace environment. I did not take the traditional college route, so it made the transition much easier. I also love JJC for the ability to go and be with nature in our beautiful natural areas and the people.”
“JJC was like an extended family in a way; I always felt welcome and well received no matter the event I attended, on campus or virtual. The staff listened to our opinions as students, adjusting accordingly so our voices felt heard.”
More on Krystal: Morgan Family Finds Right Fit at Joliet Junior College
“I loved the people and the sense of community at JJC. I always felt like I was part of a family because of how kind, welcoming and supportive everyone is. I truly felt like I belonged, and that was one of the most important things that came out of my college experience. I got to thrive at JJC, because my professors were kind enough to give me extra attention and other opportunities to allow me to grow and learn. Finally, I was able to get involved, which I was very proud of.”
“I feel like I belong to this school because of the amount of help I get from the staff and my fellow classmates. I feel like this is my family, not just my school. JJC has helped me succeed as a student because at a point in my educational career, I wanted to give up, but my coaches and teachers helped me keep going. As a person, I have grown into a responsible woman that know what she wants to do with her life.”
“JJC has not only given me a great education, but it has also given me opportunities to grow as a leader.”
“The idea that there are so many of my peers in the same situation makes me feel like I belong at JJC; it's the steppingstone I know will get me to where I want to be. There is a resource for every obstacle I run into. I don't have to hash everything out on my own.”
“I always had ambitions to become a leader. When I wanted to pursue that at JJC, I felt so welcome to lead. Leaving the college, I can say that I was part of the JJC family.”
Sabrina Johnson | Nursing
“Being an encourager and motivator to current JJC nursing students was very rewarding. I feel truly blessed to have had this experience as a nursing student. That’s when I felt I belonged to JJC.”
“I was so thankful to receive two scholarships through the JJC Foundation this year. Thanks to the generosity of donors, I can continue to play baseball while working and going to school.”
“When I came to United States, the first thing on my mind was to go to school. JJC was my first choice. I’m beyond grateful to my hospitality management and business instructors for all the knowledge and motivation they gave me. Along with gaining the knowledge to pursue my major, JJC’s classes helped me develop leadership and communication skills and overcome my language barrier.”
Abubakare Olaseni Arowolo | Nursing
"There's just something special about this faculty, the tutoring provided here at JJC is second to none. One could walk into any of the faculty member offices if you need advice."
“Now as I lecture and teach undergrads myself, I refer back to the effectiveness of JJC's lecturers in communicating knowledge and passion for their subject areas and I try to channel the same enthusiasm to my students. JJC provided a wide foundation for my career in the humanities, offering a breadth of coursework and research skills that have served me well.”
Don Florante | Nursing
“While they are educating you here at JJC they are also setting you up and preparing you to further your education after JJC. The alumni from JJC is also a great resource that is not talked about enough I feel. They are in constant communication with current students and serve as yet another resource.”
“As someone who is visually impaired, JJC’s Disability Services office has been very helpful. Since I’ve been at JJC, I’ve learned to get involved, use the resources that JJC offers and not to be afraid to ask for what I need. The professors and students are really friendly and they don’t judge you. Since I’ve been on campus, I’ve also gotten a lot of leadership experience – I am the community affairs liaison of Latinos Unidos, the event coordinator for the International Student Club and a member of Intervarsity and Disability Awareness Club. To me, JJC feels like home.”
“As someone who has never taken online classes before –and who doesn’t have anyone to ask for help at home – I didn’t know if I was going to pass or fail when JJC switched to an all-online format last spring. But all the staff and my teachers were really helpful. It wasn’t as overwhelming as I originally thought. I received straight A’s!”
“We have found ourselves distanced from each other, but it is going to have to take more than a virus to keep this pack from howling.”
Sobia Khatoon | Health Information Management
“Starting the Health Information Management program gave a new purpose to my life. After joining school I not only participated in panels meant for improvement of other students at JJC, but also started working in a male dominated industry of technology. The knowledge from school and experience from work has changed me as a person. I am now a person with characteristics of a leader, and a person who has started to motivate other women to become career oriented.”
Erica Trejo | Health Information Management
“I had an interest in the medical field, but I didn’t want to be on the clinical side of things. Working in an office setting seemed more my style, so I chose JJC’s HIMT program. I was a full-time mom, working full time and going to school full time. It was a lot, but I handled it. I was a volunteer at Silver Cross Hospital before I got a job there. Since then, I’ve moved up from an analyst in medical records, to a lead, to now a manager and part of hospital leadership.”
“The opportunities that I had here, such as taking unique courses as well as studying abroad, had established a foundation of confidence in my academic explorations. The professors that I had instilled in me such a sense of purpose in what I was learning that I have been able to jump into my new environment without missing a beat.”
“I chose to come to JJC because it was much more affordable for me to attend a two-year institution before I transferred to a bigger university. I also chose JJC because I knew I was not ready to leave home just yet, so I decided to go to the college that was near me, allowing me to stay home for a few more years. JJC also offers a lot of smaller class sizes and I thought it would a better place to learn and expand my knowledge.”
Angelo Tufano | Orthotics & Prosthetics Technology
"The OPT professors not only teach you the skills needed to build devices that can change the lives of many, but every day they teach the students how to be great leaders even when we don’t realize it. The lab, as well as the school, have become a second home to many, including myself. I never fear anything while I’m there and feel loved by a family that I never knew I needed. This family, while many don’t realize it, extends throughout the school as many leaders like Professor Brncick and Professor Masterton are there fostering the minds of the leaders of tomorrow. I have been honored and humbled to work and learn from some of these great people, some of which have gone above and beyond to help me when I needed it; showing that a person that is normally considered as unworthy is truly worthy."
Eliana Melero | General Studies
“JJC is very inclusive. Everyone here is included regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. I got to be a part of the group of students who interviewed the JJC Chief of Police candidates and when they were interviewing for the new Director for the Office of Student Activities. JJC has taught me to never be afraid to take chances because they can lead you to great opportunities. This is the first time I am able to voice my opinion and feel like I’m being heard.”
Rachael Fox | Nursing
“The program has professors who serve as retention specialists and make themselves readily available to assist your learning and comprehension of more challenging content. The professors bring so much energy into the classroom and their passion for teaching is truly remarkable.”
More on Rachael: Nursing Program Selects Citizenship Winners
“As a returning adult student, it was difficult to navigate the enrollment process needed to start attending college. Since the start, I found much support and motivation from classmates, faculty and staff. I started at JJC undecided and Career Services helped me declare a major and get a job while attending classes. JJC has changed my life completely! It gave me the tools needed to achieve one of my biggest dreams, which was graduating with an associate degree. I learned so much about myself and it has been an incredible journey."
“As an adult student, this is the first time I’ve taken classes in more than 15 years. Although it has not been easy – my three children have been witness to the sacrifices I’ve made, especially during the pandemic – I have continued with my studies and am proud to have a 4.0 GPA. One thing I have learned is that hard work pays off. I received a scholarship through the JJC Foundation at a time when I needed it most. My husband is the only working provider for our family and scholarships ensure I am staying on track to continue my studies. I am grateful for individuals that give to the foundation to make my education possible. Attending JJC is the best choice that I could have ever made.”
Nick Katello | Automotive
“Going to JJC, I feel that this was the right career path for me. All the professors are extremely helpful in every way. Without their countless hours of helping and mentoring the students, we would not be where we are today."
“JJC has brought me so many great friends and opportunities! It has also taught me some important life lessons that I can’t wait to apply in life after JJC. This is truly my home away from home!”
"Joliet Junior College has been an extremely helpful stepping stone during the process of transferring to a four-year university and achieving my associate degree. While taking classes here at JJC I was able to excel academically and athletically with the help of my caring and supportive professors, coaches and other faculty members. I am thankful for all the people I have met and the journey I have had at JJC."
“My JJC experience has been one to remember. I have made a ton of new friends and reconnected with old friends. Being close to home was one of the many things that made JJC even more appealing when I was looking at schools.”
“My journey at JJC began in 2016 when I started the GED prep program. I moved to the United States when I was a junior in high school, and I was unable to finish. With the help of the GED classes taught by some amazing teachers, I was able to pass my GED with honors, and in the fall of 2016, I started my college classes. I am grateful for the opportunities I have received at JJC. Being an immigrant, I often felt like an outsider, especially during the 2016 political climate. When immigrants were vilified through bigoted rhetoric and political policies, I was lucky to have Professor Brattoli as my English professor, who always made me feel welcome and deserving to be in the U.S. Being at JJC allowed me to take my time to find my calling to help people.”
“JJC is a great place for everyone who is interested in early childhood education, with many programs and many people that help beyond their job description.”
More on Benyamin: 10-Year-Old JJC Student on Path to Associate Degree
“The staff made me feel like family. They made me feel like I was important and the relief it gave me was everything I needed to gain back the confidence that I can do this.”
"Winning Chef of the Year was both a rewarding and validating experience. I could not be more grateful for the knowledge I acquired from the wonderful instructors at Joliet Junior College. They laid the solid foundation that helped me grow into the chef that I am today."
“In 2016, I received the wonderful news that I was selected as one of the recipients for the President’s Scholarship for Returning Adult Students founded by Dr. Judy Mitchell. Being one of the recipients of this scholarship positively impacted my life in two important aspects, economically and emotionally. It helped ease the economic stress of my tuition expenses so that I could focus on doing my best in my classes; it also changed the way that I saw myself because being selected among many outstanding students showed me that someone believed in my potential to succeed.”
“Joliet Junior College helped me settle into the career that I have today. Not only did JJC provide a smooth transition to a university, but I find myself applying the skills I learned at JJC to my job each and every day."
“JJC is an amazing school with an unbeatable price. The campus is stunning too, so make sure to spend some time outside! Use your gen eds to take classes you would have never considered and expand your thinking.”
Adam Roy | Culinary Arts
“I come from humble beginnings. JJC offered a way for me to succeed in the U.S. and overseas. I too was a scholarship recipient and needed those funds to assist my goal of earning an associate degree.”
More on Adam: Culinary Alumnus Right at Home in Kitchens Overseas
Elena Sukeviciute-Maksimavicius | GIS
“I was excited to find geographic information systems classes at Joliet Junior College where I could continue to improve my skills and knowledge previously gained at Vilnius University in Lithuania. The professors at JJC were great. They brought real world experience, and real-life situations to textbook lessons.”
More about Elena: GIS Program Offers Students a Degree in Rapidly Growing Industry
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 | 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.”
“I couldn’t have done it without the amazing people who motivated me along the way. Not just my family and close friends, but also all the teachers who took the time to listen to me and give me a boost of confidence.”
More on Shalma: JJC Students Share How Empathetic Acts Shaped Their Lives.
“Thank you, faculty and staff at Joliet Junior College, for the ways that you impact your students, whether seen or unseen. I am a personal and forever grateful witness to the power of your choice to care.”
More on Aaron: JJC Students Share How Empathetic Acts Shaped Their Lives.
“Overall my experience at JJC was truly wonderful. I worked on campus for the Blazer as well as the Early Childhood Center. I enjoyed being a part of the school community and had some wonderful professors.”
Michelle Sharp | Rad Tech
“With the excellent training and hands-on education I received from the JJC radiologic technology program, I have been able to excel at a career I love for the past 10 years.”
“Thanks to the opportunities I have had at JJC, I have grown so much as a student and as a person. The school has provided me with so much opportunity for growth and leadership in my student life and in my personal life and that is something I will carry with me forever.”
“The best part of the program is hands down the instructors. They are an ocean of knowledge, and from the first class you can feel their passion for nursing. If you ever have a question or problem they always take the time to help you work through it.”
More on Robert: JJC Nursing Program Selects Citizenship Award Winners
“JJC is doing great things out there. Not only for the students but the community.”
Savanna Rusch | Nursing
“I’m going to be helping and saving so many lives once I graduate and be on the front lines with the rest of the nurses.”
Julian Archuleta | Business
“Because JJC so affordable and delivers such a high quality of education it is the perfect place to go whether you already know your major or you are still undecided.”
July 2020 spotlight
Hannah Anderson | Orthotics and Prosthetics
“I had a wonderful time learning the tasks that helped me get a job right after school. I really appreciated my teachers and classmates.”
July 2020 spotlight
Madisyn Serr | Marketing Summer Student
“The best decision I ever made was taking dual credit classes and summer classes at JJC. I learned many valuable things that I was able to carry over with me to the University of Iowa. The professors at JJC are also very willing to work with you - in fact, I have had better relationships with my JJC professors than at Iowa. Even though I have taken summer classes every year, I have always had plenty of time to work and do things on the weekends with my family and friends. I would definitely encourage other four-year university students to take classes at JJC during the summer.”
August 2020 spotlight
Diana Peretti | Nursing
“JJC’s nursing program is filled with instructors that work hard to ensure that the nurses of tomorrow do not lack competency or empathy. I will soon be working my dream job as a labor and delivery nurse thanks to them.”
August 2020 spotlight
“Not everybody has $40K to go to a four-year school. A lot of people have to work. The professors at JJC are all very accommodating and understanding of your schedule. I also don’t take on a full course load each semester. Going at a slower pace allows me to work, be an involved student, take advantage of leadership opportunities and save money. I appreciate all the things JJC has offered me – it makes being a student easier!”
September 2020 spotlight
Taylor Cook | Psychology
“There’s a lot of uncertainties but the one guarantee is that JJC is going to be there with you every step of the way, making sure that you get everything that you need.”
September 2020 spotlight
“Our professor worked so hard to make sure we had everything we needed to finish the spring semester online and prepared us for summer classes online. Her hard work was just the push and motivation I needed to keep going.”
October 2020 spotlight
“At first, I was very worried when my instructor said that we could no longer meet in class and would be working completely from home. Today, I am completely comfortable as an online student.”
October 2020 spotlight
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.
January 2019 spotlight
"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 | 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 | 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.”
February 2019 spotlight
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."
March 2019 spotlight
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.”
March 2019 spotlight
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.”
April 2019 spotlight
“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.”
April 2019 spotlight
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
“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.”
June 2019 spotlight
“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 | 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.”
May 2019 spotlight
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.”
May 2019 spotlight
“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 | 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.”
June 2019 spotlight
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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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
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.
Read more about Sante.
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."
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.