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Your CLC Success Story


Markise Jackson
Waukegan High School

(Class of 2011)

Degree or certificate program at CLC:  Elementary education; planning to earn an Associate in Arts degree in 2015 and transfer to a four-year university.

Graduated from Waukegan High School: 2011.

Interests and hobbies: Movies; hanging out with friends; singing in church choir; volunteer work, from working in a food pantry to teaching Sunday school.

It’s hard to pick a favorite class, but I’d have to say mine was English Composition II (ENG 122) taught by Penny Steffen. She created an atmosphere that made you want to be there. For our papers, Penny encouraged us to choose a topic we were passionate about. She was always willing to meet with students before or after class and was very responsive to emails.

Another great class was Introduction to Teaching (EDU 121), taught by Michelle Proctor. Her teaching style was straightforward, strict and very professional, but if you needed help, she was there for you. The class gives you a good overview of the field, from handling students’ behavioral issues to setting up a classroom based on children’s learning styles. I learned that the organization of a classroom can have an effect on a student. Some kids learn by independent work, and others need group activity.

Outside of classes, I’ve been active with the Black Student Union, serving as vice-president in 2013-14 and president for 2014-15. It’s been a great way to learn leadership skills. I’ve learned to empower others and lead by example, and I’ve learned to be a listener, a thinker and to consider others’ points of view. I’ve also built leadership skills by working as a peer mentor, helping students in classes that I’ve already taken. And as a student ambassador, I’ve helped incoming students on tours, orientation, workshops and enrolling.

One of my greatest achievements at CLC was completing a Disney World internship for six months. I assisted guests by giving them directions and working in the World Showcase part of EPCOT. I learned to have patience with guests of different cultures and ages. It made me feel good—most people can’t say they worked for one of the largest franchises in the world.

The way to succeed at CLC is to get involved. College is more than just academics. If you don’t get involved, you won’t know resources and programs that will help you be successful.  Who you know is important, so joining a club or activity helps you network with others and in marketing yourself. 

I want to teach, focusing on sixth grade. Moving from sixth grade to middle school, you’re typically going to a bigger school. You’re also encountering more peer pressure and negativity, such as low self-esteem or bullying. I want to prepare sixth graders and help them stay strong and positive.