When Trevor first came to Howard Community College (HCC) as a high school junior, he felt like he finally found his place. He had a fresh start through the Early College Program, a partnership between HCC and Howard County Public School System giving him the opportunity to earn his associate degree while still in high school. Since Trevor and his cohort were the first students to participate in this program, they quickly became a tightknit community.
“It was hard for me to find my place in high school. I would just go to school and come home, and that was it,” he said. “The Early College Program gave me the opportunity to open myself up to a whole new friend group. It was something that really changed me because I felt like I was a part of something.”
Trevor continued his studies at HCC after graduating from high school and worked as a student ambassador for the Office of Admissions and Advising, where he received a lot of hands-on training and guidance.
“I started as what I consider a ‘lost student.’ I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I didn’t really know what my career goals were,” he said. “I didn’t have great grades coming out of high school, and HCC helped me realized that I had to start doing something better. Finding my footing at HCC, to then be able to transfer to UMBC and not feel like I was completely lost – it was something that really helped me a lot.”
Motivated by his own journey and growth, he is encouraging others to follow in his footsteps. Now that he is almost finished earning his bachelor’s degree at UMBC, he’s returned to HCC -- this time as an employee. Trevor works in the Office of Admission and Advising, connecting with high school students to share the benefits of the programs geared towards high school students like JumpStart and Freshman Focus.
“HCC was the place that helped me find who I wanted to be,” Trevor said. “I want to try to recreate that experience for other students to help them on their collegiate path and help them find what they want to do and what they want to succeed in.”
Since Trevor’s experience as a student in Early College Program, the program has evolved, providing dual enrollment students several paths towards earning college credit while in high school, from just a few credits to an associate degree. Students can even receive opportunities to participate in internship experiences and receive one-on-one support to write career-ready resumes and prepare for job interviews.
“I know it may seem like an overwhelming idea, going to college while you’re still in high school, but HCC is for everybody. HCC just wants to see students succeed and they will help you in any way that they can to get you there.”
Wherever you want to go, you can get there from here.