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Hometown: Round Lake, Illinois

Degree or certificate program at CLC: Associate in Arts, 2013.

Transfer school: Lake Forest College, May 2015; degrees in secondary education and English, Illinois high school teaching certification.

Current position: English instructor at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Ill.

Lydia Wells

Participating in the CLC Honors Program and working in the Writing Center allowed me to make friends with like-minded peers who also strove to succeed academically and help others. I made so many great friends during this time (many of whom I am still in contact with). CLC offers so many programs and events that it is very easy to get to know one another, which makes the school process much less daunting and much more inviting.

I have to thank my former teachers Tamara Wolff, Martin Ley, Scott Palumbo and Michelle Proctor for encouraging me to follow my true passion in life: teaching. They are all so knowledgeable, so caring, and such great role models for students. I also have to thank Kim Voss for allowing me to hone my skills in the Writing Center.

Tutoring in the CLC Writing Center stands out as such a formative and life-changing experience. For the first time, I was able to apply what I was learning in the classroom by putting abstract theory into concrete practice. This really opened my eyes to the intricacies of teaching reading and writing. I was also able to help a variety of students, and I really enjoyed getting to know CLC’s diverse student population. Sharing writing is such a personal act, and I was able to read about and experiences things I would never have known about before. There are literally an endless amount of stories just waiting to be written and shared!

It was my plan all along to receive my Associate in Arts at CLC and then transfer to Lake Forest College, which is a (very expensive!) private school. Without the money I saved by attending CLC and the scholarships I earned there, I would not be able to afford Lake Forest College. CLC was the best option for where I was academically and financially at that point in my life, and I was excited to attend.

I was in Phi Theta Kappa at CLC, which awards several $15,000 scholarships to students transferring to Lake Forest College. This scholarship helped me tremendously in being able to afford my dream college. At Lake Forest College, I was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Kappa Delta Pi, in addition to being elected by my peers to both the Education and English advisory committees as a peer representative. I have also had several pieces of my work nominated, which I have presented at the 2014 and 2015 Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposiums. The paper I presented last year was even published by the Lake Forest College Press.

CLC definitely helped prepare me for the education field and my future job as an English teacher. I had such wonderful mentors and teachers who taught me about everything from educational pedagogy to literary theory. I took a variety of English courses at CLC, and this prepared me to discuss and analyze many types of literature. My other experiences at CLC challenged and pushed me to always do better and succeed academically. I plan to teach for a few years and then pursue a higher degree in English.