Mariama knew she wanted to go to Howard Community College (HCC) after graduating from Laurel High School in 2018. But she also knew she was going to need support to be successful as she made the transition from high school student to college student. When a school counselor told her about the Silas Craft Collegians Program at HCC, she felt a sense of relief and hope. The program would give Mariama access to tutoring and study groups, and other resources to help her earn good grades. Additionally, it would open a door for her to make new friendships, and receive a scholarship.
“I attended an orientation workshop for students coming into the Silas Craft Collegians Program, and everything started to fall into place,” said Mariama, who is pursing an associate degree in business administration. “There were people there to help me pick out and register for classes. I learned about the tutoring center and just how easy it is to get help there when I am taking a class that is especially hard. And I met a lot of new people who are a lot like me.”
Mariama is extremely grateful for the scholarship she receives as a Silas Craft Collegian; it pays for about half of her tuition as well as the books she needs each semester. She says one of the other most beneficial aspects of the Silas Craft Collegians Program is that all students who are part of it meet weekly to talk about how things are going at school, as well as important life skills that are crucial for their success – things like time management, organization, communication, and strategies to overcome challenges.
“It’s about so much more than academics,” said Mariama. “This program is building who I am, as a person. It means a lot when there is always someone there to encourage you. ‘You can do it. It’s okay. I am here for you.’ These are all things that I’ve heard, and that have given me the confidence to do this.”
Mariama plans to graduate from HCC in spring 2021, and hopes to transfer to Bowie State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business.
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