How I got here:
I started my college career in 1991 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I attended college off and on for two years. During those two years, I changed majors more times than I could count. I wanted to be a social worker, a respiratory therapist, a teacher – but I just could never choose which career I wanted to do. I became unhappy and started not wanting to attend classes. I just wanted a career that paid money and required the least of my time in a school. I had burned out, so I quit. Once I quit college I had to take whatever job I could find. No one would support me. I quickly learned that life was hard and, without an education, it would be even harder. Jobs were not easy to find and I had to settle for what I could get. Those types of jobs just don’t pay well and I never felt appreciated for the work I did. I went through most of my life being unsatisfied. That is what led me to EMCC.
What I’ve accomplished:
My dream job had always been to be a teacher. I love working with kids and seeing the excitement in their faces when they learn something new. I wanted to be a positive role model who would change the lives of others, so 18 years after walking away from my first college experience I decided I would enroll at EMCC and prove to myself that I could be just that. Since enrolling I have had the pleasure of making a host of new friends. My fellow students and I have become colleagues and I have been taught by caring and well-educated professors and instructors. They have have all inspired me to do great things. During the 2011-12 school year, I was presented with the World Civilization Student of the Year award and, in fall 2012, I was inducted into the local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.
After I graduate from EMCC, I plan to attend Mississippi State University. There I will get my bachelor’s degree in Special Education. After that, I would like to find work in an elementary school in a high-needs area and also continue with my education to get my master’s degree. My hope is one day to make a difference in the field of Special Education and inspire younger students to reach for their own potential of greatness.
My advice to future students is to never give up on your dreams. Make the best of what EMCC has to offer. Go to class. Study hard and learn to take good notes. Take pride in yourself and, even in the lowest of times, remember you are someone who is destined for greatness. Talk to your professors and instructors because they do care about you and want to see you succeed. Get involved. Help those in need. Strive to be the best you can be and then some. Be strong, patient, understanding … and never doubt that dreams are achievable.
What his instructor, Jill McTaggart, says:
Jimmy is one of those students that instructors truly enjoy having in class. Every day he comes to class with a smile on his face and a pen in his hand. He has a desire to learn which spreads to his classmates and enhances their learning experience. Having been out in the “real” world without a college degree helped him clarify his career goals, which led him to EMCC. Jimmy’s personality and passion for helping children will make him successful in his career. I wish him the best!
Thinking about attending EMCC?