Growing up in a household with close family members battling mental health issues, Keenan was inspired to pursue a degree in psychology.
“Seeing people close to me battle with a variety of mental health issues including schizophrenia and depression has, with a burning passion, driven me to make change in the lives of others who fight similarly,” said Keenan.
Living in Columbia, MD for over five years, he was familiar with Howard Community College (HCC) and its campus. His high school counselor suggested he apply to the James W. Rouse Scholars Program, an honors program at the college that includes a rigorous curriculum, personalized advising, leadership development, study-abroad opportunities, and community service projects.
“As a Rouse Scholar, a variety of grants were available to me. The grants allowed me to go to school stress-free, not having to work heavy hours at my part-time job,” said Keenan. “Because of this, I was able to place emphasis on just being a student and leader on campus.”
Seeking to do more with his free time, Keenan took advantage of every experience possible from HCC. Apart from the Rouse scholars, he joined Phi Theta Kappa honors society, Howard P.R.I.D.E., and became the Vice President for the Active Minds club.
“The moment I knew HCC was the place for me was when I discovered the club Active Minds, whose mission is to eradicate stigmas regarding mental illness and promote student wellness,” said Keenan. “The club had values in which I felt connected to me immensely. “
Keenan’s hard work in and out of the classroom paid off, as he was awarded the 2019 HCC Social Sciences Division Student of the Year as well as a full scholarship to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he intends to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
“My experience at Howard Community College has really sharpened me in terms of being a better student, in terms of being a better person, and in terms of being in a position to be a better leader.”
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