MCC Promise Program helped me get where I needed to go

Lucas M. Marshall

My name is Lucas (Luke) Marshall, and I attended MCC from 2009-2012 (funded 2009-2011). I was
contacted regarding my activity after MCC and how I thought the MCC Promise Program helped
me get where I needed to go.

Before I tell you where I am now, let me give you a little bit of background about me. When I
graduated from high school in 2009, I wasn’t a particularly stellar student, and MCC was one of the
few options available to me due to my low GPA and ACT scores. But thanks to the MCC Promise
Program, I was able to receive a college education despite my background of past mistakes,
pitfalls, and failures—in fact, it allowed me to receive what I consider a top-rate education with
none of the costs. I was almost immediately inspired by MCC English professors Katrine Poe and
Mark Waters, who got me interested in the study of humanity through literature.

After graduating from MCC, I transferred to Elmhurst College, a spectacular liberal arts college
that I would have not been accepted to had I not attended MCC. I received scholarships
amounting to $18,000 annually (also an occurrence dependent on MCC), making my private,
superb education at Elmhurst comparable fiscally to that of the University of Illinois in nearby
Chicago, a major public university at which I would not have received as personal of an education
had I chosen to attend there instead (though I had been accepted and considered going there).
I declared my major as English at Elmhurst, graduated with honors, and began my graduate
education in English at Western Illinois University during the fall of 2014. I received a teaching
assistantship at WIU, where I have been given the opportunity to teach my own classes in
freshman composition and developmental writing. I’m scheduled to graduate with an M.A. in
English this May and am currently in the process of applying for jobs.

Thanks to the Promise Program, I was able to earn a college degree and pursue a graduate
degree with little debt. I recognize MCC as the institution where my scholarly identity began. The
MCC Promise Program made everything that followed possible, and the volunteer experience I
gained through receiving this scholarship also made me a more socially aware person. As a result,
I’ve been able to dedicate academic projects to those who, like me, will benefit from a helping
hand.

I cannot thank you enough for your incredible humanity and, to this day, I am proud to call myself
an MCC and MCC Promise alum.

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