Setting up the Success for Moraine Students

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Student Success Conference
From Left to Right: Derrick Young, John Andres, Jordan Radcliff , Shatha Froukh Photos by: Jessica Kubacka

Moraine Valley students gathered in building M on Thursday, March 2, for a Student Success Conference meant to assist in inspiring students to persist and engage in their graduation and education.

The first conference speaker was Moraine Valley’s president, Dr. Sylvia Jenkins. Dr. Jenkins spoke about her time at Moraine Valley and her experiences at the community college when she was a student. She shared an unpleasant memory when in the library asking for assistance. Back then, she wasn’t greeted with the kind helpful attitude that we see today on campus; her goal was to change that.

Among her college experience Dr. Jenkins also discussed a time in which she was having a difficult period in college and how her parents told her to either persist through or find a job instead. Needless to say, Dr. Jenkins persevered through and made her goals a reality.
The next speaker of the conference was Derrick Young, the traffic reporter for CNN News. Derrick spoke to the students and faculty about having to make your own luck in life and find the inspirations that guide you.

He shared his story about his struggles throughout his life and the numerous failures he had to endure. Mr. Young emphasized how he had to make his own luck, and one fateful day his father presented him with a contest.

Being well prepared, from memorizing Chicago maps from his early paper route days, Derrick eventually went on to win the contest as the traffic reporter on CNN and was assigned a 90-day contract, thereby beginning his career.

When his initial 90 days were up he was hoping for a longer contract with the company, but found out it was going to be another 90-day contract. It continued to be this way for him for over three years, but it did not discourage him. Although a little bit of anxiety played a part, he knew he was gaining valuable knowledge he could leverage later in his career.
The conference’s next topic was titled, Engage. The topic was spearheaded by John Andres, an employee of the Moraine Valley college Fitrec.

He talked about his rewarding employment at the Fitrec and how to become a more engaged student within school and how it can benefit you in the long run. He shared that the Fitrec had made a difference for him and he has since been inspired to help others do the same.

Speaker Jordan Radcliff talked about the topic of Persistence, following Andres.
Jordan was a basketball player at another college and lost his way while he was there. Jordan’s grades eventually dropped and he was kicked out of the university.
Moraine Valley accepted him and helped him get back on his feet. He spoke about how everyone at the college was so motivating to him, and how staying persistent got him to become the person he is today. His grades now reflect a more desirable expression of what he wants and what he is capable of.

The last topic at the conference was Graduation, which Shatha Froukh discussed with the eager audience.

Froukh shared that she did not know what she wanted to do in life at first. Then she came to a conclusion; do what you enjoy in life.Froukh lamented that she had not been to college in a long time and was not sure how it was going to be after so much time has passed.
The speaker endured long schedules and worked very hard as she struggled with attending college and working concurrently. Eventually she found something she liked but needed assistance deciding what she ultimately wanted to do. Froukh attended academic advising and counseling at Moraine Valley to plan her goals and begin to prepare to graduate from Moraine Valley. The advisors discussed the goals of graduation, how some peers unfortunately lose the momentum during the process, and what the school’s requirements are to become a graduate of the college.

The students who attended the event received a free t-shirt, lunch, and the valuable knowledge to aid their success.

This was a, hopeful, annual meeting, determined to hear and understand student’s voices. After each speaker, students and a faculty member did round table questions pertaining to the topics previously discussed. Asking questions such as, “What inspires you to do what you do every day?” and “What methods are you taking to ensure your graduation?” and so forth.

This conference just shows how much Moraine Valley is wanting to reach out to their students and gain their insights. After the conference students were given survey sheets and the option to be contacted about the conference and to have their voices heard further later in the semester.