Q: What were your biggest accomplishments?
A: I’m not only a high school student but a first-generation college student. I’ve been
a college student since I was 16 years old through the Oakland Accelerated College
Experience (ACE). Graduating with my associate degree and my high school diploma at
the age of 18 is my biggest accomplishment.
Q: Describe your feelings having gone through the last two years of the pandemic and
A: When I was enrolled in three high school and three college classes and working 12
hours a week, I felt isolated and burned out. I became really depressed, doubted myself,
and questioned whether college is a right fit for me. What pushed me through those
difficult times was helping others learn about chemistry.
Q: What kind of support have you received from faculty?
A: My Intro to Psychology Instructor Krishna Stilianos taught my very first class at
Highland Lakes and gave a good impression of what to expect at OCC. Also, my General
Chemistry 1 Instructor Katelyn Cottone taught my first semester online. I really appreciated
her organization, fast communication and Friday Zoom meetings for extra help.
Q: What type of support from the administration?
A: PTK Co-Advisor Gail Adams and Andrew Muniz, former Associate Dean of Student Services
at Highland Lakes, are very kind and always willing to help students in need. They
are really friendly, and that’s what made me want to get more involved with PTK.
Q: What are the next steps for you after leaving OCC?
A: Transfer to Northern Michigan University where I was awarded their Hayden Scholarship
which covers full tuition, room and board. I plan to complete an undergraduate degree
in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience; afterwards, I plan to complete a graduate
degree related to neuroscience and apply to a PhD program. I would like to get involved
in research or work in a clinic with patients.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: Thank you to the OCC staff and faculty. I feel like I’ve been lucky to attend OCC
and meet such amazing people. Keep up the good work at OCC, and I hope the College
will continue to be a place where students can thrive.