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CLC Enrollment Representative
Melicia Eder

When someone views a college education as a pipe dream that’s beyond his or her abilities, what does it take to change that perception? For Melicia Eder, recruitment specialist, all she has to do is point to her own journey.

“When I was in high school, I didn’t consider myself college material, mainly because I struggled in several of my classes and I had attention deficit disorder,” said. “But my school social worker was very helpful, and with his encouragement, my attitude changed 180 degrees. I was able to improve my self-confidence, raise my GPA and eventually enroll in a college.”

After graduating from Richmond-Burton Community High School in Richmond, Ill., Melicia earned an associate degree at McHenry County College, where she appreciated the small class sizes and help from tutors, advisors and counselors. She transferred to Northern Illinois University, majoring in family and child studies, with emphasis in social services. After graduation, Melicia was a family support worker for a Chicago-based non-profit organization. She joined CLC in fall 2016.

As the first in her family to attend college right out of high school, Melicia said she feels compelled to set a positive example for her two younger siblings and her young son. She’s also happy to work in higher education, paying forward the help she once received.

“I try to help each student find a path that fits him or her,” she said. “If a prospective student has struggled academically, I let them know that CLC offers free tutoring in writing, math and the sciences. At the other end of the spectrum, the college has an excellent Honors Program for the top-performing students. So, no matter where they are in terms of age or academic ability, there’s a place for them at CLC. If a student is concerned about finances, I let them know that financial aid and scholarships are available. At CLC, you can save money while having the same quality of education as the first two years of four-year college or university.”

Keeping in touch with the people she’s helped is another satisfying part of Melicia’s job. “For example, there’s a set of twin brothers who are now CLC students, and when they’re on campus, they always come by to say hi and tell me how their classes are going,” she said. “It makes me feel good to know I’m making a connection with people and making a positive difference in their lives.”