After graduating high school, AliceJoy and her mother left their home of 19 years in New Jersey and moved to Maryland. The transition was difficult at first for AliceJoy — with friends in another state and her future uncertain, she wasn’t sure where to get plugged in. Fortunately, her mother befriended Joan King, HCC’s assistant director of Student Support Services, who introduced AliceJoy to the college, where she started taking classes, making friends and finally began feeling comfortable with her new life.
“Through HCC I found Phi Theta Kappa, and that’s when everything really changed,” she says. “PTK gave me the skills in leadership and public speaking that I really needed to excel in my studies.”
Beyond PTK, AliceJoy has volunteered with the Howard County Public School System’s Black Student Achievement Program, participated in the Center for Service Learning’s environmental clean-ups, completed a significant student project with Crownsville Hospital, and more. Commencement will be particularly special for AliceJoy and her family. “My Mom didn’t go to college and my Grandfather didn’t graduate from high school,” she explains, “so I’ll be the first in my family to graduate from college!”
After graduation, AliceJoy transferred to a four-year college to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing and hopes to one day work for the Food and Drug Administration.