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Fall Edition 2014

arts & cont

HCC Enrollment Down......................................................................................3
By Debbie Mennona
Staff Writer

Crazy for Signing: New Policy for Financial Aid Starts This Semester..........3
By Mabelin Luzon
Staff Writer

Horizons Staff

New Associate Academic Dean at HCC.............................................................3

By Lauriane Ngoy
Staff Writer

Major Expansion Scheduled for Lafayette Hall................................................4

Sherly Montes

Housatonic Community College Anticipates New President ...........................4

Prof. Steve Mark

Mega Help for Students......................................................................................5

Managing and Opinions Editor

Neil Knox

By Amanda Wright
Staff Writer
By Victoria Tomis
Staff Writer

By Jack McCandless
Staff Writer

How to Slash the Price of your Education ........................................................5

By Jena Fracassini
Staff Writer

Bus Tokens vs. Bus Pass: Should Students have alternative ways to get to
By Fredric H. Cilbrith III
Senior Staff Writer

Hungry for Healthy..............................................................................................7

By Keri-ann Jackson
Senior Staff Writer

Private School Emptied Their Bank Accounts..................................................7

By Latisa Pacheco

Occupation Confrontation..................................................................................8
By Desiree Swendsen
Senior Staff Writer

Financial Need?...................................................................................................9
By Victor Dawson
Senior Staff Writer

News Editor
Ashley Seetoo
Latisa Pacheco
Arts Editor and Social Media Coordinator
Brenna McIntyre
Staff Writers
Jena Fracassini, Kade Gibbs, Jr., Erroll James,
Kenneth Kubel, Mabelin Luzon, Jack McCandless,
Debra Mennona, Shannon Mitchell, Lauriane Ngoy,
Michael Silva, Natalie Thomas, Victoria Tomis, Elisha
Wilkerson, Amanda Wright
Senior Staff Writers
Jocelyn Battle, Frederic Cilbrith III, Victor Dawson,
Keri-Ann Jackson, Franklin Jusino, Desiree Swendsen,
Danniluz Valverde

Strive for Honors..................................................................................................9

Art and Design Directors

Amanda Fernandez, Rashaad Carswell, Enrique Silva

Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting Exhibit Opens at HCC...............................10

Design Advisor
Prof. Andy Pinto

By Brenna McIntyre
Arts Editor

By Shannon Mitchell
Staff Writer

Underage Brewing..............................................................................................11
by Jack

Staff Writer

Chavis Accepts Challenge of Advising.............................................................11

By Shannon Mitchell
Staff Writer

Graphic Design Staff

Sean Davis, Joshua Eaddy, Anthony Flynn, Ryan
Glovna, David Grigg, Raymar Jara, Jeff Jean-Louis,
Doran Lewis, Mark Lucas, Jacqueline McAllister,
Darrien Mohammed, Amy Murphy, Kevin Poremba,
William Schiebe

More Than Just Advice......................................................................................11

By Victoria Tomis
Staff Writer

A Librarian for the Students.............................................................................11

By Jena Fracassini
Staff Writer

The Time Before Sanity: A Quest For The Great A-Ha!.............................12

By Desiree Swendsen
Senior Staff Writer

Gain Some Perspective!

Tuition Anxiety...................................................................................................12
By Latisa Pacheco

Disabled to Co-host of Keepin it Real..............................................................13

By Fredric H. Cilbrith III 13

Ascending to New Heights.................................................................................14

By Brenna McIntyre
Arts Editor

A Changing Mindset.........................................................................................14

By Victor Dawson
Senior Staff Writer

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the online companion to Horizons and find
exclusive content and breaking news!


arts & entertainment

By Debbie Mennona
Staff Writer

verything may seem fine

and dandy at Housatonic
Community College from
the student perspective but is it really? According to Janice M Schaeffler,
the Director of Institutional Research
and Adjunct Instructor of Statistics,
school enrollment has dropped by a
total of 7.7 percent this semester.
This can affect students and staff in
a big way. If enrollment continues to
drop, staff members and students employed through work-study programs
could face job cutbacks. With fewer

HCC Enrollment Down

students attending HCC the need for

professors and support staff will diminish. If this downward trend continues some of the less popular required classes could be dropped from
the current program. In a worst-case
scenario HCC itself could one day
cease to exist. Tuition paid by students
along with state funding and private
donations helps to keep the school up
and running; if there is a cut to school
income then there will be cuts made
to programs. There is a possibility of
enrollment going back up.

Robert Ballard, an assistant to the

Academic Dean, a second semester
student at HCC said, I do [believe
that there is a chance enrollment will
increase]. All of the new programs
being started by HCC should attract
more students. The manufacturing and
engineering programs are basically
brand new and that alone made more
high school graduates enroll in HCC.
I dont [see the enrollment decreasing furthermore] I am the second
person in my family to attend HCC
because of the great things I heard

from my brother.. Plus like I said before, new programs will eventually be
added and also the current programs
will only continue growing, Ballard
The new state initiative Go Back
To Get Ahead program is designed
to encourage former Connecticut
State College students to re-enroll in
school. If they do they will receive
discounted tuition costs, perhaps this
program will help rejuvenate enrollment numbers statewide. Only time
will tell.

Crazy for Signing: New Policy for Financial Aid

Starts This Semester

By Mabelin Luzon
Staff Writer
ousatonic started the fall
2014 semester with a few
different policies, including the Financial Aid Audit. This new
policy forced students to sign the class
roster at least once before September
12 for Monday-Friday classes and September 14 for weekends; this would tell
the financial aid office which students
never showed up, and which ones did.
Since the first day of school the
most common sentences in all classrooms were Dont forget to sign the
roster and If you dont sign before
September 10th youll be kicked out
of your classes, and your financial aid
will be taken away. Since professors
had to remember every single student,
the Acting Academic Dean, Rebecca
Adams, with other deans had to visit
classes to enforce the policy.
Students just needed to sign the roster once before the deadline every class
they take in order for them to continue being registered for the class and to
keep their financial aid from the government. If they do sign, then professors at the end of the process will state
that the student showed up to the class,
and the student will be ready to keep
their semester going with no problem.
Adams explained that the process is
to keep record of the students that never show up to school, but still get financial aid. We were asked to provide

Photo courtesy of the Housatonic Community College Facebook page.

this information to the federal government in regard to our receipt of Title IV
financial aid.
Adams said that it was a hectic
thing to do, but they needed to find
the way to tell all students that they
needed to sign for their good sake.
Some professors stated that that this
process was a really complex and tiring
one, but it helps to see which students
are actually going to class.
English professor, Catherine Barna
understands that the problem is going
on, but she wonders how do you make
individuals responsible for their own
education? Especially, when they have

not been for 18 years? She says its

important to take students attendance
in every class.
History professor Kevin Boylan
agreed that the policy should get going
for the whole semester, since its not a
problem that appears just at the beginning of the semester. I believe that the
Financial Aid Audit is a common-sense
response to a real problem, Boylan
Kirk Hughes, another English Professor, explained that what they had
to do is: first, reports any student
that didnt attend to class for the first
three weeks. Then, if the student nev-

er showed up, said student would be

de-registered and their financial
aid would be taken away. The entire
process was mandated by the Federal
funders who want to make sure HCC
aid dollars are neither being stolen or
But between the students, other
things were spoken.
So if I just sign once before the
12th, then I dont have to go back to
school and Ill get my money? became
a common question from students. In
fact, that is all the new policy required.
Theyll find a way to sign the roster and never come back, said student
Lance Edwards. Its a good idea to
take care of their money, He said.
Other students, depending on how
the process of signing the roster went,
had a different perspective about it.
Alissa Phillips, another student,
said, Its actually a smart policy, Ive
met people that just cant wait to get
their paychecks and leave. So there has
to be something done.
The roster policy is not going to be
around for the whole semester, but it
certainly is for next semester, since the
college administration is happy with
its results. They still havent received
information about how many students
have dropped, but they are working
on easier ways to get the information
about it.

New Associate Academic Dean at HCC

By Lauriane Ngoy
Staff Writer
CC has a new Associate
Academic Dean. His name
is Dr .Terry Brown.
Brown received his bachelors degree in Psychology at the University of Florida. He also has masters
degree in clinical psychology at the
University of Delaware and completed a Ph.D in clinical psychology as
His career began as a member of
the faculty at Norwalk College, where
he remained for three and a half
years. Upon leaving Norwalk he then

became the Director of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Naugatuck

Community College, staying in that
position for the next seven years.
I have the opportunity to make a
difference in students lives, just like
other people made a difference in my
life, he said.
Im pretty excited to be working
at Housatonic, No job is better than
being a professional educator, he
Browns parents took his education
and his brothers educational needs

very seriously. My parents were first

generation college students, he said.
They made sure that he and his brother went to college.
As Associate Academic Dean here
at HCC, hell be working to address
college wide academic issues. His
responsibilities will entail
ranging from general education, general studies programs, full program
reviews, college assessments, to serving as a resource for students striving
to be successful.
What hes expecting from faculty

members is that they do their best,

take their jobs seriously, and hopes
students take their education here at
HCC seriously.
Debbie Kuchmas, the Retention
and Job Development Associate for
General Studies here at HCC, said, I
found him to be a very nice, pleasant person with a good sense of humor. Its important for students know
that hes approachable, they should
know they are important to him. He
has many creative ideas. Im look forward to seeing them in action.


Major Expansion Scheduled for Lafayette Hall

By Amanda Wright
Staff Writer
ajor changes are coming
to Housatonic Community College.
According to Interim President
Elizabeth Roop, A four-story addition will be built between Lafayette Boulevard and the current front
entrance to the college. In addition,
renovations will be done in several areas within the Lafayette Hall
The renovations and expansion
will include new art studios, specialized classrooms, science laboratory
renovations, health career program
laboratory classrooms for Occupational Therapy and Medical Assisting.
Roop says, A major feature of
the new addition is a College Welcome Center with centralized student services for student enrollment
and registration.
In June 2014 architectural draw-

ings were completed for the Lafayette Hall Expansion Project by the
Amenta Emma Architects. Their
Facebook post says, The State of
Connecticut Department of Construction Services awarded Amenta
Emma architectural design services
for a $30M addition and renovation
to Lafayette Hall, the main campus
building at Housatonic Community
College in downtown Bridgeport.
Amenta Emma Associate Jenna
McClure says, A major goal for
this project was to create a new
face for the College on Lafayette
Boulevard. We incorporated a large
amount of glass on the west faade
in order to highlight the activities
of the building and strengthen a
connection with the City of Bridgeport. Amenta Emma designed both
the exterior and the interior of the
addition, she added.
All classrooms will be equipped

What Lafayette Hall is projected to look like at the end of construction. Courtesy
of Bridgeport
Regional Business Council.

with the latest technology, including full AV capabilities. The fourth

floor of the addition is home to
four new art studios. Each studio
is dedicated to a specific area of
study (painting, drawing, ceramics,
and sculpture), with new equipment
and furnishings to support the programs. We are also renovating isolated areas within Lafayette Hall
we have designed a new Academic
Support Center, study rooms for the
library, two bio labs, OTA clab
and apartment, a Medical Assisting
Lab, as well as new studentservices
The Bridgeport Regional Business Council website states that
the construction starts June 2015,
pending state bonding approvals.
Dean of Administration Ralph Tyler adds, Hopefully that will occur in February of 2015, with construction beginning in late Spring/
early Summer of 2015. the start
date is contingent on the Bonding
The colleges expectation is that

What the interior of Lafayette Hall is

Courtesy of the
designers of the new building, Amenta
Emma Architects.
this project, if everything goes well,
would be completed by the early
summer of 2017, he says.
The changes that are coming our
way will give new life to old classrooms. Dr. Kathleen Cercone, a Biology professor here at HCC says, I
am looking forward to the new lab.
They definitely need renovation and
we need more space as well so we
can offer more classes at good times.
We are limited now as we only have
the one lab.
predicted to look like.

The current front view of Lafayette Hall Housatonic Community College as of


Housatonic Community College Anticipates New

By Victoria Tomis
Staff Writer
he president of a college serves
as a bridge between the interests
of the students and the framework that is set up by the state boards and
legislatures. Former college president Anita Gliniecki retired this September, and
Elizabeth Roop was named Interim President. Now the search is on to appoint a
new president of Housatonic Community
The presidents role, in a word, is an advocate. Roop says that being president requires a mix of skills. Roop says effective
presidents must be flexible, committed
to [their] work and caring about students.
[They have to] be a good advocate [to] help
make the case about why [the issues] are
important to the [college] community.
While the president has authority on
campus they ultimately answer to the
Board of Regents. The BOR is an organization that is at the helm of seventeen
colleges and universities in Connecticut.
The BOR sets the criteria for financial aid,
establishes tuition and accredits academic
programs, among many other responsibil-

ment surrounding HCC is key for the new

president. Bukovan says an effective president could understand the urban nature of
Bridgeport in a sea of other affluent communities. and be able to act accordingly.
An effective president, according to
criteria set by the Board of Regents, is
one that is student-centered. In addition to
making a connection with the students, Bukovan says this could mean, Do they meet
with students regularly? Do they include a
student representative on most committees
and the presidents cabinet? Do they reach
out to students when considering new policies?
Latisa Pacheco, a student life worker
at HCC, weighed in via email on what she
would like to see from the new president.
Pacheco says shed like to see more, [and a president
who will] lower the retention
helping us to pay for education instead of
us feeling that we are being pushed out by
financial hardship.
Roop meets with her Academic Dean
and the
Punpkin Illustrations by: Enrique Silva

ities. Furthermore, the BOR establishes

committees to seek out, and appoint, qualified candidates for the presidential positions. One such committee is the College
Advisory Committee.
Denise Bukovan, Dean of Outreach on
the College Advisory Committee says she
thinks its important for a new president to
have vision, new ideas [and to] move the
campus forward in new directions. . . [its]
challenging to be able to listen well and respond . . . to balance all that is quite a trick
for a president.
Along with administrative and communication skills, this complex job is one that
requires good negotiation and an awareness for how things fit into the big picture.
The president must be on top of what students have to say. The president has, a
fundamental interest in students and students success [and they] have a genuine
understanding of community college and
what they have to offer to the region and
the nation. Roop says.
Having an awareness of the environ-

Dean of Students on a weekly basis to hear

about students comments, concerns, and
ongoing issues. Roop says her typical day
as president entails meeting with various
educators and administrators. Roop meets
with presidents of other colleges, goes to
board meetings, and meets with a variety
of external groups including the Bridgeport Higher Education Association. Roop
also sits on a Presidents Council that meets
monthly in Hartford. She hears new policies being proposed and has opportunities
to weigh in on significant issues.
Roop is optimistic about her successor.
The new president will have an awful lot
of good work to build on here, says Roop.
[HCC is] a strong college with a great future in front of it.
After an extensive accreditation and
interview process, on December 1-3, the
finalists will come to campus to participate
in forums. Interested students are encouraged to attend. The new president will be
named on December 18 and will tentatively be in office January 2015.

HORIZONS News You Can Use

& entertainment
By Jack McCandless
Staff Writer

hen overwhelming school

work and incomprehensible formulas are pulling you down, the Mega student-help
classes are there to perform the rescue.
In Lafayette Hall room B120, the
Academic Support Center offers a quiet
space where students can meet with helpful instructors and tackle their most difficult subjects together.
The support center offers tutor assistance in a variety of subjects such as:
mathematics, english, and science. Each
subject is known as Mega-Math, Me-

Mega Help for Students

ga-Papers and Mega-Chem sessions respectively, and has been provided by the
support center for the past six years.
These Mega sessions are designed to
give students a stress-free environment
where they can either work in groups
with students or one on one with a tutor.
Students can sit with their classmates to
do homework, revisit classwork, review
new formulas or study material, and
work on long term assignments.
The Academic Support Center tutors
are experienced in their diverse subjects
and can help with any level of class,

whether it is beginners level courses or

high honors.
This assistance is available to all students and can be helpful regardless of
your major. Even those not taking mathematics courses may find help for other
classes during a Mega-Math session.
Kevin Fontan, a tutor at the Academic
Support Center, says, We also have tutors who help with math in other courses,
like physics or accounting. No matter
the major, it seems the Mega sessions can
be useful to any student.
These sessions are given generous

time slots, with Mega-Math running from

9:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, and
from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.
Mega-Chem operates on a separate day,
running from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. every Thursday. Mega-Papers is held on
Tuesdays, from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.
With no appointment required, the
Mega sessions provide an open work
room, where students can come and go
as needed. With a wide array of time
frames available, students can always
find time in their schedules to stop by for

Image By: Amy Murphy

How to Slash the Price of your Education

By Jena Fracassini
Staff Writer

aid simply, School Aint

Students pay, on average,
$22,826 a year for in-state tuition at a
four year college.
Private college tuition runs at approximately $44,750 a year. As many
students and parents who foot the bills
have said, money doesnt grow on a
tree in their backyard. Many students
just cannot afford these high prices.
There are options available though
for students who want to go on to complete their education. Financial aid is
a possibility for those who meet the
federal guidelines. Theres also student
loans, which must be paid back after

Fortunately, for many, there is another avenue that provides almost obligation-free financial assistance for
students. Scholarships, sums of money
awarded to students based on academic and other goal-related achievements.
There are a couple of scholarship programs available right here at HCC that
many students dont know exist.
One group that many are unaware
of is the Housatonic Foundation. Their
office, which many students walk by
every day not knowing it is there, is in
Lafayette Hall across from the Writing
Across the Curriculum Center. The
Foundations mission includes solicit-

ing and securing donations to provide

students here with scholarships.
To apply for these scholarships, students can visit their web page http://
Another program available to
Housatonic Students is Phi Theta Kappa. An Honor
Society aimed at providing students
attending two-year colleges opportunities to excel. It also provides students
access to a database of scholarships for
which students can apply. In order to
join this organization, students must
have a minimum 3.5 G.P.A, and must
pay what some might call a hefty admission fee.

The National Society of Leadership

and Success is another organization designed to help
students at HCC find their way
through the financial quagmire. This
groups main goal is to provide leadership,training and experience, They also
offer scholarships to their members.
Most college students are undeniably busy with class and homework,
extra curriculars and socializing, the
prospect of having tuition bills taken
care of is too sweet to pass up. Most
students will graduate with an average
of $40,000 in student loan debt, these
scholarship opportunities are certainly

Visit HCC Online!

Curious about the services, courses, and programs at HCC? Go to, the colleges
home page. From there you can navigate the various departments, search for courses, or follow links to other
useful sites, such as MyCommnet and the HCC Foundation.


Bus Tokens vs. Bus Pass: Should Students have

alternative ways to get to Housatonic?
By Fredric H. Cilbrith III
Senior Staff Writer

CC students may not be

aware that Housatonic offers bus tokens each semester to its students. The cost is $1.75
each. Students who apply have to meet
a certain scheduling and distance criteria in order to receive the tokens.
Applications are available at the Dean
of Students office. Qualified students
receive their tokens in a two to three
week period.
The criteria is based upon the number of days you travel to school and
your individual class schedule. For
example, a student has two classes
on Monday and Wednesday then they
would receive 20 tokens for the semester.
Why doesnt HCC pay for an entire
semesters worth of bus tokens or give
qualified students passes?
Dean of Students Dr. Avis Hendrickson was asked for her viewpoint
on this matter,We would have to do
more research on this topic to see if
it would be beneficial for the student
body. How We are able offer bus tokens
to students because HCC was given a
special grant that pays for them, she
But what if a student needed more
for the remaining semester if they attending school more than two days a
week? Or, perhaps its Finals time and
you want to study with a bunch of your
classmates, and you cant afford to
take public transportation. Its true you
could easily get a ride from one of your
friends, but, perhaps everyone is too
busy to offer you a ride. What do you
do then? How would you get to school?
Anna Cruz, administrative assistant
in the Dean of Students office ,offered
her opinion on this subject. Although
HCC has an Emergency Bus Transportation Program, it is meant to address
temporary emergency needs only, not
long-term transportation issues. This
seems to be a great concern for students who apply to the Emergency
Bus Token Program because they are
unemployed and do not have a vehicle
to travel back and forth to school. If
they apply and are eligible, they may
receive up to twenty (20) tokens only

per academic year, she said.

David King, a former student of
HCC, has a bus pass that is activated
all year around; from August to August
of the following year. Why doesnt
HCC do this? The reasons are plenty.
It would be much easier than paying
$1.50 for a 90 minute transfer each
way. But once the public bus crosses
the bridge coming from either Milford
or Stratford, to go back they charge you
Cruz said, Earlier discussions between HCC and the Greater Bridgeport
Transit Authority regarding bus passes for students in need has resulted in
HCC having to purchase a huge amount
of bus passes in order to get the discounted price. Therefore, the purchase
of bus tokens remains the same at the
regular price, which is $70.00 per
month versus a one way bus token at
$1.75 each.
Bus tokens can be a little pricey if
youre going to school more than one
day a week. Perhaps one idea for the
readers of Horizons might be to gather signatures on a petition and get
HCC to fund some of our commuting
throughout the year.
Some HCC students voiced their
opinions on this matter. Matt Cuifo
said, A bus pass is more affordable
especially if you have a job. One day
price for unlimited rides for 30 days.
You can easily go down to the corner
store and pick up a bus pass for $35-40
Another HCC student, Kevin Gustave said, The bus pass is better than
a bus token, because the bus pass is
reusable and tokens are one time use
Some staff members weighed in on
this subject as well. Lynne Langella of
the Disability Resource Center said,
I dont agree with a bus pass because
there is only so much that HCC can do
as a college. HCC cant pay for everyones transportation back and forth to
HCC is a community college, so its
natural that most of the student population has to commute to school, either
by bus or train. The college should give

more of a helping hand then just bus

tokens. Even though passes cost more,
they might to helpful for students in the
long run.
There are those who think the money that HCC students use for bus fare
could go to something more affordable.
Michelle Reed, Director of the Occupational Therapy Program, said, We are
a community college and in order for
Housatonic to give students the great
bargain in education, we cut a lot of
frills that might be paid for by students at private colleges because they

vice are the best use of the students

The Kennedy Center in Trumbull
has a travel training department that
specializes in helping people with
transportation. Mark Primavera, an
employee there, also gave his point of
view on this matter, Bus passes are
under time constraints, tokens are one
token ,one trip, so they are very different. One is unlimited and the other
is based a single trip basis.It might be
cheaper for them to get tokens on trip
by trip basis.

Photo taken by: Fredric Cilbrith III

pay much higher tuitions. Often shuttle
services are available on much larger
campuses those students are in place
where they live on campus and have no
other means to get to town. Since all
our students live in the community I
dont think bus tokens or a shuttle ser-

All in all, its for you to decide

whether or not to get a bus pass or
simply use tokens. Maybe the students
here at HCC could start a petition to get
bus passes for those students that live
in the valley area. The choice is yours.

Follow us on Twitter at @HCCHorizons,

and search the hashtag #hoccnews to learn
about campus news as our reporters discover


By K eri - ann J ackson

S enior S taff Writer

ho would have ever

thought you could gain
The Freshman 15
without even living on campus?
Well, its indeed possible if you
are eating daily in the cafeteria at
HCC. Who doesnt love a burger and fries with a sugar filled
beverage on the side? However, some people prefer healthier
options on the menu, and they
are hungry too!
Many students really only
want one thing, and thats options. There is nothing wrong
with fast foods. They are accessible, ready to go, and so are
we. As students we are always
balancing time, rushing from
one class to the next so, its
hard to find time to have a decent meal while on campus. So,
its understandable why the cafeteria serves the food selections
that are available.
Yet, that does not mean that
students are content or completely satisfied. After all, we
do pay to attend HCC and theoretically no one is coming here
for free.
For example, burgers, bacon egg and cheese sandwiches,
french fries and fried chicken are
all common popular choices for
students. Although yogurt, fruit
cups or salads are also sold, there
is still a limited selection. Salads
and fruit cups are pre-made. So,
students who have allergies or personal preferences are left to buy
things that may not be as suitable.
For instance, I am allergic to strawberries, which are normally one of
the main ingredients in fruit salads.
Most people would prefer to choose
what is in their salad or even what
kind of dressing they want. We

Hungry for Healthy

shouldnt have to be robbed of that
So shouldnt we have a say on
what we are spending our hard
earned money on; if we are indeed
choosing to spend it on campus?

unbalanced hormones, reduce energy, cause headaches, sleepiness,

nausea, and the list goes on. These
side effects not only can affect
your health, it can also affect your
behavior, alertness, attention span

Photo by: Mark Lucas and Raymar Jara

Felicia Mitchell, a Communications Major at HCC stated, I would
prefer not to eat on campus at all.
While everyone is entitled to
choose what they want to consume,
the choice of what we are going to
eat is sort of already being made
for us. We are given limited options, therefore, the probability of
eating and buying healthier foods
is fairly low.
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, fast foods are known to
increase your blood sugar, cause

and ability to be a productive student.

One problem with fast food is
that it has no nutritional value. But
a balanced diet is necessary in order to be healthy.
HCC student Ashley Welfare
thinks that students usually buy
unhealthy foods because they are
cheaper and not necessarily because its their preference. And eating unhealthy isnt anyones first
choice, but sometimes it feels like
the only option depends on someones financial status.

This is true because some families find it more affordable to purchase a meal from the McDonalds
dollar menu rather than buying groceries from the Whole Foods Market, which can be very pricey.
In the mean time, we have an
opportunity to take advantage
of this simple issue by implementing changes to the lunch
menu that will accommodate everyone at HCC. During a class
session, a classmate stated that
other colleges and universities
have open salad bars where students can build their own salads
instead of eating the pre-made
ones. Similarly, we can achieve
the same.
Since we are a smaller institution, we could start with a
bi-weekly or twice a month trial. That way business will not
be affected with any loss of
money that could occur. In fact,
it may build an even larger consumer base.
We could also go as far as
having a Green Thumbs Club,
where students can plant vegetables and form a community
garden on campus. If we wanted to see if this problem is really
worth implementing a change, then
we could have an anonymous poll
where students can vote on whether
or not they are being affected, as
well as if they want something to
be done to change our food selections. The possibilities are endless.
It is up to the students to decide
how much it matters to them. If
we can all agree that a change is
necessary, we can move forward to
learning in a health conscious institution, that is not only invested in
our minds but our bodies too.

Private School Emptied Their Bank Accounts

By Latisa P acheco
Editor- at-Large

n the past, I would play the scenario in my head in response to

being asked what school I attended. I would say I went to Yale and
majored in Computer Science, then my
listeners eyes would widen and their
voice would get higher as they replied,
WOW! You must be really smart.
Ho wever, my thought was flawed
because the only reason I wanted to
attend a private school was for the ivy
league name, yet I didnt have the ivy
league money.
However, Kamaya Bramble, a Human Services graduate had it all figured
out. She said, I knew the day that a
representative from Central Connecticut State University came to my high
school that I would apply. Besides, they
are cheap. She even quivered at the
thought of attending a private school.
Its too snobby for my taste, she added.
According to the Connecticut Board
of Regents, the average cost of residents
attending a community college as a fulltime student is $3,800 per year. Transferring to a university as an in-state
commuter will have an annual average
of $8,800 for full-time students.
On the contrary, the College Board

said that attending a private college as

a full-time student averages as much as
$30,000 per year. That being said, Yale
would have costed me over $63,000 a
year for room and board. Even if I wanted to live with a family member, tuition
would cost me $46,000 a year. Still, that
was insanely high.
But private schools give you more
scholarships, counters Jessica Myles,
a general studies major at HCC. She
referred to the ideology that because
the majority of the money comes from
private donations and from the students
who can afford the high tuition cost,
then more funding for scholarships are
Except she failed to realize that
scholarships are not always guaranteed.
After all, I wasnt offered one even with
my high GPA. Unless Yale offered me a
full-ride, financial aid doesnt cover the
cost per semester. Plus, I would like to
avoid ruining my credit due to student
That was also the case for Tammy
Johnson, a student at the American International College. She didnt receive
any scholarships and she refused to take
out more student loans. She complained,
It costed me $17,000 a semester to try

and get my teaching degree, which is

why she dropped out.
For myself, I believe that I would receive the same quality education from
state college as I would at a private college. I came to that conclusion during
my visit with the advisor from Central
Connecticut State University; and the
course requirements to complete my degree was similar to those of my friends
who went to private institutions.
That is also what a community college graduate Sherley Volcimus did
when she applied to public university
Lehman College. I applied because my
credits were transferable to that school
and for the education I would receive as
a Social Science major, she said.
Familiarity, such as diversity, is another reason why some students like
myself go for a state institution.
HCC has a wide range of students
with 31% of African Americans, 35%
Caucasians and 28% Hispanics, but
the races kept going. I loved that about
this college. Coming from a family of
mixed races, I embraced diversity and
the uniqueness of different cultures.
Granted that the reasons for selecting
a college are based upon its low tuition
cost, the quality of education provided,

and diversity among students, surely a

state institution is the better fit.
Also, in the state of Connecticut, veterans are allowed to complete a masters
and doctoral degree at any state college
tuition-free; well, after the expiration
of the 36 month GI Bill- which allows
veterans and active duty members to
complete their associates or bachelors
degree for free or at a discounted rate.
Keep in mind that going to a state
university or private university does not
guarantee a dream job right out of college. I have watched my friend, Keshia
Desir, struggle to get a job after she received her bachelors degree. The only
place that hired her was a clothing store,
which wasnt enough to pay back student loans. Therefore, taking on an internship plus networking and building
connections is a wise choice in increasing the chances of employment.
Today, I have no regrets attending a
community college. I am in my last semester at HCC and will have graduated
almost tuition free. I also look forward
to transferring to a state university to
further my education with a guarantee
that I will graduate with less debt or no
debt at all than those attending a private


By Desiree Swendsen
Senior Staff Writer

Occupation Confrontation

ollege is a very difficult time

in anyones life, whether you
are a recent high school graduate or an adult coming back to fulfill a
new dream. One thing every student has
in common is the fact that they are pursuing a career path that will change their
life. Choosing a major is like choosing
your destiny, and it is probably the hardest decision to make.
Say, for example, you have a passion
that you want more than anything but it
might not always pay the highest wage.
Do you choose a career path that you
love and will be enthusiastic about, or
do you take the easy way out in a foolproof career that gains you easy money
at the expense of your happiness? It is
my whole hearted opinion that choosing
a path that you have a passion for far exceeds monetary value. If you love your
job, you have a higher chance of success
and will lead a more fulfilling life.
Eight months ago, I sat studiously
at the circulation desk of St. Vincents
Behavioral Health Care Center. Being a
Human Services major, I was intrigued
to see the nurses and mental health
workers interact with patients. Much
to my disappointment, I noticed that
many of the eager patients were quickly brushed off or sent to get medication
that they did not necessarily need at the
time in order to feel better. I must make
it clear, though; not every worker was
like this. There were a few that were truly engaged and helpful.
I began to wonder why these professionals had acted this way and began my
little research project. Each day I would
ask some of the mental health workers
at the facility why they chose that job. I
had hypothesized by the overall attitude
that many individuals werent quite happy with their career. Sure enough, the
responses began to add up. They would
state answers like, I wanted to be a
nurse but I dont like blood. or, I dont
know, psychology just seemed interesting I guess. Only a handful of workers
had said they specifically wanted their
job at the facility because they actually wanted to help people. This shined
through in their day to day work as well.
The few that were passionate about their
job spent more time interacting with patients and were more active in participating in activities when given the opportu-

nity. The others spent more time behind

the desk talking amongst themselves or
doing homework.
At Housatonic, I have come to know
many of the classmates in my field. Ive
listened to their stories. A vast majority
of students in the human services classes
appear to be individuals who have experienced some harsh realities who would
like the opportunity to help others who
are struggling through life. Many of the
students are adults with families and
jobs. Theyve put every ounce of effort they had to go back to school with
hopes of becoming a counselor. However, there are a few students who are in
these classes because it sounded easy or
they needed to fill a requirement. Those
who are more passionate about the subject appear much more involved. Sure,
these other students have passed, but the
ones who are doing it for the love of it
are much more vibrant in class, active
in conversations, in sharing stories, and
creating a truly enriching experience for

Sacred Heart University and Housatonic Community College. The job was a
perfect combination of both my education and experience, she said.
She got the job in both institutions
and continues to be just as enthusiastic about teaching as she had been as
the young girl fluffing up her brothers
afro and preparing her lesson plans.
Turiano stayed true to her passion
throughout her life and has led a very
fulfilling career. However, we still live
in a time where money speaks louder
than words.
For most people the purpose of going to college is to get a good job and
become successful. Many families pressure their children to get a degree in the
best paying jobs possible.
For me, I was looked down on because I refused to become a nurse or
X-ray technician. I wanted to become
a zookeeper. Preposterous! An animal
caretaker has an extremely demanding
job. Theres very little time off, its labor

If you find something you love, you will never work a

day in your life.-Confucious
themselves, the class, and their professors.
Professor Laura Turiano, who teaches
multiple psychology and human service
classes at the school, one being Intro to
Counseling, pulled up a famous quote
from Confucius to start the conversation. If you find something you love,
you will never work a day in your life.
Turiano went on to explain how she
always knew that she wanted to be a
teacher. I always had a passion for
teaching. When I was little I used to set
up a pretend classroom and make my little brother sit down and do the work I
gave him. But I also wanted to be a hairdresser so he would walk out after with
funny looking hairdos, she said.
Turiano explained, although she
went to school for Psychology so she
could teach the subject, she worked as
a banker for a while after college. She
had learned about human services from
a customer whose wife ran a Welfare to
Work program. She became an employment counselor and taught employment
skills. After years in the field, Turiano
applied for teaching positions in both

intensive, and theres always the possibility of being mauled by a wild animal.
According to the Occupational Outlook
Handbook they earn around $20,000 a
year. A trainer, eventually could make
as much as $25,000, whoah big spender!
Yet, an X ray technician with just a two
year degree could earn almost $60,000 a
year. Now that X ray technician makes
the most money, they might not necessarily be the happiest of people. As for
zookeepers, they wake up in the morning
to do a job they love and put all the time
and effort necessary into their job forming bonds with other living beings that
you just cant form with a picture on a
computer screen. Asked about this comparison HCC student Martin Florestant,
said, I should be an X ray technician!
I mean, thats two years of school. Im
not saying your aunt is right, but I might
look into it. He went on to explain his
conflict on the topic, When you like
your job and youre good at something
you might make more money in the end
because youll be building up experience
and a network in that field. But when
taking care of a family later on you also

need to be more than just a starving actor performing on the New York subway.
Im not saying theyre not dedicated, but
its not practical.
Many of us can remember our parents
or guardians explaining that we need a
high paying, stable job to raise a family
and that to do so we need to graduate,
and so on. Does that mean sacrificing
our dreams to avoid the risk of letting
them down because we might not make
the six figure salary that would make
them proud?
As much as I want to be sentimental,
I have this nagging dad voice in my ear
telling me that I have bills to pay, a family to take care of.a legacy to pass down.
When Im gone I have to leave my family more than just a stack of unpaid bills.
As an X ray tech, Id have a steady job
but, at the end of the day, I dont want to
wake up and hate going to work, I want
to be excited about it. Im just afraid of
not being able to take care of myself or
them, Florestant said. He expressed his
love for writing, but worried that it is an
unsteady path. Hes excited about applying for an internship at the Connecicut Post, and is looking into journalism
classes offered at HCC. The overall idea
was to look into other branches of the
field he loved that had the stability his
family wanted but also continued to let
him pursue his passion.
There are plenty of pressures that
come with choosing your career. Whether it be opinions of friends and family or
the pressure to get a job to help pay off
student loans.
My suggestion is to choose a field
youre interested in, then explore options in that field. Maybe if zookeepers
are a little too poor, go to school to be
a zoo director, you could pull in up to
$100,000 or more. You might not be the
winner of the next Pulitzer Prize, but
you can bring in a steady income by
writing for a magazine or newspaper.
You can stay true to yourself and follow
the dream you had back in kindergarten
when you scribbled that When I grow
up picture. It just might lead you to a
career that you sincerely love. Just dont
let money decide what you will do with
your life, because that big house wont
look as nice when you realize your everyday life makes you completely miserable.


By Victor Dawson
Senior Staff Writer

inancial Aid grants are available

for those who may need extra
funds to pay for their schooling,
right? Well, not for everyone.
Some students in need of financial aid,
cant receive it because he or she does not
qualify for it. If a student is still living
with a parent, or parents, Financial Aid
wants the parents to provide a previous tax
For example, if a students parent loses
their job in 2014, but FAFSA wants 2013
information, what should that student do?
Now at this point, a student in this situation would have to pay on their own or
try to apply for a loan.
There should be another outlet for
students whose circumstances may have
changed or dont meet FAFSAs criteria.
Usually, students are told by the Financial Aid office to look into taking out
a loan that he or she would have to pay
back, but who wants to owe money?
By doing this, the school sends a message to students that basically says you
dont have enough money, so borrow our
money and you could owe us interest bearing money later...hmm.
Taking out a loan backs a student into

B y B renna M c I ntyre
A rts E ditor

he best action I took for my

academic career was joining
the Honors Program at HCC.
Everyone should strive to be a part of
it. The honors program is a four-part
program and is open to any student
who has completed at least 12 credits
and has a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
The first actions that most honors
students take are the two In-Class Honors Projects, which allows the students
to explore the subject matter of a class
more deeply. For example, it might be
writing an essay or giving a presentation on something that interests you in
a class. The next action is the Honors
Seminar, HN 200.
HN 200 was one of the best classes I have taken at HCC. It is offered
every fall and the topic is different
every time. When I took it, the syllabus described the class as the cultural
construction of genius. The class is
like no other that I have been a part
of. It pushed me to new academic places I did not know was possible. I also
learned a tremendous amount of information and research tools throughout the out-of-the-box class that will
help me for the rest of my scholastic
career. We did everything from a class

Financial Need?
a corner with no financial help available in just doesnt have the money!
Constantly wondering where the monthe present and future, depending on how
ey is going to come from to pay a school
a much a student borrows.
If a student has to borrow money for bill could create a stressful environment
and a person
now and for the
could pop one of
future, how bright
their blood veswill that future
sels out of place.
with overwhelming
Full time studebt that they could
dents who decide
be paying off well
to take four classes, would have to
into their thirties
cough up at least
and even their for$2,000 ...yes, I
said $2,000. This
Not a very posamount is not a
itive way for any
vast one if you
student to start their
compare it to othcareer after graduaPhoto by: Mark Lucas and Raymar Jara
er state schools in
Once that student has 6 credits left or Connecticut, but it can be a handful for a
less to graduate, then they have to start person struggling financially.
Its cheap compared to other colpaying it off, said Amy Poskus, who
assists students in finding a loan that fits leges, but I had to pay some money that I
their needs .
didnt really have, said Kaylen Powell, a
Next up, is the haunting option of a stu- 19-year-old freshman at HCC.
dent paying through his or her own pockSo what should a student do now?
Maybe try to apply for a scholarship if
Its not a pleasant feeling for a student he or she qualifies for it.
Most scholarships require the students
who may have other responsibilities or

to have at least a 2.4 GPA or higher.

Usually for a student to apply for a
HCC scholarship, they should have at least
2.4 or 2.5 GPA, said Cindy Cominsky,
the Scholarship Administrator for HCC.
What if a student is hard working but
does not quite match up to those expectations?
I mean there are other scholarships
available out there, but a student is going
to have to really search, Poskus said.
Besides these options, I believe that
there should be another way for students
to obtain money regardless of their GPA.
As long as that student works hard and
has good intentions for the need of money,
then it should be given to them. There are
a number of grant possibilities and there
is a government website that lists them.
Its difficult to navigate and it takes a lot
of time, but surely its worth the effort if
it means saving money that could be used
for more pressing matters.
HCC should find a way to offer students the much needed help searching out
government grants and provide the help
many students in financial need by at least
giving them alternate options to high interest loans.

Strive for Honors

field trip to the Upright Citizens Brigade (an improvisation theater in New
York City) in order to study the idea of
collaborative genius to bringing in an
art therapist who did a brief exercise
with us. The class built its way up to
the grand finale of everyone writing a
12 page essay and giving a Pecha Kucha presentation. The presentations
were given to everyone in the class
as well as faculty, staff, and guests of
the students. This gave valuable public
speaking experience.
The honors program has really
helped me communicate better with my
peers and work on my public speaking
skills, said Emma Tecun, HCC student who took HN 200.
The program helped me by constantly putting myself in an unfamiliar
situation, and making me learn things
in a new way, she added.
HCC student Ed Bloom, who also
took HN 200, had similar sentiments,
It increases your capacity to do more
in a better way,he said.
The only way you can take this very
beneficial class is if you are in the
honors program.
The final thing that you need to do in
the honors program is an independent

study. The topic of the independent

study is radically different for every
student since you are able to tailor it to
your own unique interests. In the past,
students projects have ranged from a
collection of short stories to a choreographed dance. This independent study
gives students a way to explore their
academic interests and prepare themselves for the type of work that is expected in more advanced education.
Once all four parts are completed,
you are eligible to join the elite group
of Housatonic Scholars who graduate
with the honors program and are memorialized on a plaque. This distinction goes a long way when applying to
a four year school. A student is more
desirable when they have demonstrated that they are willing to work hard
and go above and beyond for their
education. The program helps encourage students to do well since there is
a GPA requirement, which creates accountability for your grades. Knowing
that you have to keep your grade up
helps prevent procrastination and laziness when it comes to assignments
because the consequences are greater.
Another great benefit is that you are
able to meet like minded students who

Horizons is on facebook!

care about their academic success. It

seems like there are too many students
at HCC who do not take their work seriously and disrupt the flow of a classroom. Everyone has seen the students
who spend entire class times texting,
show up late, and constantly miss
class. Students like that bring down
the learning environment for everyone.
When a student comes in late, it
does affect the learning environment,
said HCC student Anot Ifrach. Students pay attention to the person who
is walking through the door rather than
the professor.
All the students in the honors program care about their education and it
helps to know students who are working as hard as you are.
I know that I would not be as successful at HCC if it was not for the
honors program. It may seem difficult
at first to maintain a GPA of 3.5, but it
is easy once you get the correct mindset. If you treat school with the respect
it deserves, the good grades will come.
Every student needs to be trying their
hardest and the best way to ensure that
you are is by joining the honors program.

Visit the Housatonic Horizons facebook fan page to read

the latest about whats going on at HCC as well as
articles you wont find in the paper, and to send us
links, comments, and suggestions.

HORIZONS Arts & Entertainment


arts & entertainment


Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting Exhibit

Opens at HCC

B y S hannon M itchell
S taff W riter
he HCC community, along
with the public, was invited to view painter Mia
Brownells Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting collection in the Burt Chernow
Gallery on Thursday, September 25th.
The Chicago natives works are foodbased, frequently hinting at human
sexuality, notably female sexuality.
The images also resemble molecular
structures with interpretations of various fruits such as apples and grapes.
In addition to being a nationally and
Brownell is also an art instructor at
another Connecticut college close to
home, Southern Connecticut State
University. A critic of the food industrial complex, Brownell strives
to create parallels between the natural
and artificial. Her art serves as commentary about present-day issues concerning food.
She joked that she didnt know
[she] would be speaking today, but
drew attention as she briefly gave an
impromptu speech about her creations.
Her camera-shy but inviting manner
encouraged viewers to express how

much they loved the pieces.

The painter admits a challenge
about creating is figuring out your
own alphabet. Brownell wants to
blend imagination and reality while
continuing to push boundaries. Her art
starts from a very intuitive place.
She said a light bulb of idea kicks
off the process, however her larger
paintings require more planning and
time. Every work provides her with
a learning experience, she said, so
its hard to pick a favorite among the

tionally styled works with glazing

techniques and beautiful, lush surfaces. She also wanted to bring students
interested in science into the gallery as
a way to show how it can be translated
into an art form. Zella said, smiling,
that shes taking a seventeenth-century genre and breathing in new life.
Viewers from all walks of life
universally gave positive remarks
on Brownells pieces. Sophomore at
HCC Eric Netsel first saw her work
last year. His favorite, Still Life with
Sweet Dreams, features two dou-

The painter admits a challenge about creating is figuring out your own alphabet.
Brownells art was chosen for
the gallery because she stood head
and shoulders above the rest, stated Robbin Zella, museum director.
She saw some pieces in group shows
then judged them in a program where
Brownell finished as a finalist. Zella explained Brownells exceptional
skills by noting the use of her tradi-

ble helix structures with red pears

throughout the mix. After admitting
his confusion about his future, Netsel
stated her work got [him] back on
track. He now studies genetics since
her art rejuvenized [the] idea of life
Mike Lauterborn, photographer
and freelance writer, also commented

on the exhibit. Expressing his admiration for her technique, Lauterborn

says she is a master of lighting, [the]
treatment of each individual element
is amazing. Her paintings are described by him as otherworldly, and
often related her pieces to the 1966
movie Fantastic Voyage. Lauterborn
mentioned her art is like taking a journey throughout the bodys innerworkings, places like blood vessels are now
magnified on canvas.
Brownells previous exhibitions
were displayed in major cities like
Boston, New York, and Washington
D.C. They are also in private and public collections including the National
Academy of Sciences. Media outlets
such as The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, and New York Times have
reviewed and published her work as
well. Currently, the J. Cacciola Gallery shows her images in New York
The gallery featuring her twenty-eight paintings is located in the
main lobby of Lafayette Hall. The exhibit will be on display until Monday,
November 17.

New Exhibit 1: Painter Mia Brownell addresses

viewers with a brief speech about her work

New Exhibit 2: Brownell explains the process for larger paintings.


by Jack

Staff Writer

Underage Brewing

ndrew Johnson is a difficult person to miss here at Housatonic. The attention-grabbing masses of thick brown
hair about his mouth and chin is enough to make women swoon, and men bristle with jealousy. His appearance makes it
seem as though he had been plucked out of some medieval fantasy
story, and dropped, right here on campus. If he had been tugged out
of the pages of a book, beard-first, then that world would soon grow
thirsty, because Andrew Johnson is a home-brewer extraordinaire.
At the age of 17, while watching a Swedish metal bands music
video, he and his elder brother were shown the simplicity of making
homemade mead, and felt inspired to try it themselves. After a failed
attempt, some thorough internet research, several guidebooks, and a
couple more attempts, Andrew came to find that he had developed a
real knack for the art.
Since his first batch, Andrew has successfully brewed a rum-soaked
raisin braggart, blackberry mead, oatmeal stout, ginger saison, brown
ale, amber ale, red ale, and several more besides.
Now, at the age of 20, he is working on perfecting a coffee-infused
porter (a brew of his own design.) While too young to purchase alcohol,

...he is working
on perfecting a
porter (a brew of
his own design.)

he is legally permitted to purchase all the necessary tools and ingredients

for creating his own. While age has not diminished his creativity, he has
expressed frustration about not being able to take the next step towards
brewing professionally.
On my twenty-first birthday, every brewery in New England is going
to get an application from me, he says, eagerness and excitement plain
as day on his face. This is the expression he gets when he talks about the
many brewing projects he has undertaken. His experience with the art is
substantial, and his skill as a brewer has matured with time, as surely as
his beer has.
The study of brewing has lead him to take interest in microbiology, a
science that is similar to understanding the chemical process of brewing.
Currently, Andrew is a full-time student at Housatonic in his second semester, and working part-time at a Starbucks close to his home in Newtown.
He hopes to continue his pursuit of a brewing career, by attending a specialized school in Chicago, but is willing to be content with brewing purely
as a hobby, if need be. However, as a young man with passion, drive, and
such an imaginative, self-taught brewing style, it is hard to imagine any professional brewer would turn this talent away.

Chavis Accepts
Challenge of Advising
By Shannon Mitchell
Staff Writer

ook no further for help navigating

through the maze affectionately
known as college courses. Tracey
Chavis rises to the challenge of advising the
Housatonic student population.
Chavis, currently an Academic Advisor in HCCs Academic Advising Center,
is no stranger to academia. This UCONN
alumnus spent decades working in various
departments in higher education. His past
high ranking positions include serving as
a dean at St. Vincents College of Nursing
and a Director of Financial Aid. However,
these did not provide him with the student
interaction he prefers.
When asked about the types of awards
hes earned over the years Chavis jokes he
cant remember them all. Most are merit
and performance based, reflecting his continuing capability to go above and beyond.
Despite this, gaining said accolades proved
to be a trying task.
As one of the two academic advisors,
he works with new and continuing students
towards building schedules and interpreting
the curriculum specific to their goals. He
handles all transcript credit evaluation as
well. Chavis admits that this job requires

A Librarian for
the Students
By Jena Fracassini
Staff Writer

him to be a jack of all trades. While professors are the experts in their respective fields,
in order to better serve students, he needs
to have general knowledge of all academic
departments. After working at Housatonic
for 9 years, one would wonder what keeps
him coming back. Its you young people,
Chavis remarks fondly. The students are his
main source of motivation and encourage
him to help us progress in our college years.
The self-described music fanatic would
love to see Housatonic broaden its communications department. He wishes to supervise a radio station built for the HCC community fit with its own advertising sector
for clubs and events. Chavis states that this
would give anyone interested in this field
hands on experience, not only with technique, but with professionalism as well.
Dont be afraid to stop in the Academic
Advising Center located in Lafayette Hall
Room A111. Tracey Chavis calm, friendly
demeanor will assist you whether its answering a few questions or figuring out next
semesters class. Walk-ins are welcome but
appointments are preferred. Just be prepared
to enjoy smooth jazz playing in the background of your session.

By Victoria Tomis
Staff Writer
or HCC counselor Linda Wolfson, counseling
is not about giving advice.
Its about supporting people as they work
out their own issues with the support of a non-judgemental, caring person, says Wolfson, who has been a
counselor at Housatonic
for a remarkable twenty-two years. I have
learned so much from
the many students that
I have worked with and
I believe its a privilege
that they share their issues and thoughts with
She spends part of her
days counselling students in her office in Lafayette Hall
A108g, but Wolfsons role doesnt end in her office. She
is also very active in the goings on at HCC. This can

ark Gore is a book lover, like

most librarians, but his favorite
part of working in Housatonics library is definitely helping the students.
At first glance hes tall, with slightly
dark and slick hair, glasses, and an English accent. Hes probably one of the first
people you see when you walk into the library, sitting at the front desk either working on his computer or helping a student.
As a seasoned employee of 25 years,
hes seen the library expand, and loves the
atmosphere it has created. While his main
job is Circulation, what really drives him
to work every morning are things like supervising his student workers, and helping students in their academic endeavors.
Gore stumbled upon a library career due notices on a typewriter. Life was
when he first took a job as a student work- more complicated back then, he says.
er, while he was attending City College of
Housatonics current library, by comSan Francisco. He describes working in a parison, is a place filled with vast amounts
library while in school as advantageous, of resources that quickly and efficientbecause hed have access to research ly help students. Gore is happy to take
materials and time to study for classes. anyone on a quick tour of the library,
Gore remembers a time before comput- pointing out the textbooks available for
ers transformed the library experience. It students without books, the lab materiwas a whole different world back then, he als for those studying sciences, current
recalls. One enormous change was from card newspapers and magazines, group study
catalogs to online public access catalogs. rooms with interactive keyboards, and a
If you wanted a book, Gore says, youd whole section devoted to financial literacy.
have to look through huge drawers filled
The most rewarding times for Gore
with thousands of cards, then take out the are when students come back to thank
card for the book you wanted and copy him for his help, maybe bringing a card
down the information. Replacing the with them or just so pleased to have done
cards, however, was a much more arduous well on their exams and term papers.
task, because misplaced cards could lead
He says he truly enjoys working with
be attributed to her fascinato chaos in the drawers, hindering every- the students at Housatonic, and is pleased
tion with the study of psyone else from finding their own books. each time a student uses the library rechology as well as being a
Gore also remembers typing up over- sources to help them achieve their best.
self-professed devotee of
public education.
For example,
club on campus. Wolfson has been an advisor since the
Wolfson is coordinator of the Womens Cen- UNITY clubs inception.
ter. As such she is involved in weekly meetThe students are very committed. [They] work had
ings, communicating between the diverse to make everyone feel a part of the club. Wolfson says.
members on the board, and ensuring that I am very proud of UNITY.
the center is run smoothly on a daily basis.
She adds that she gets a lot out of supporting stuAlong with being a safe space for students dents who meet with her.
and filled with resources on womens issues,
It is a very rewarding job. Wolfson says, smiling.
there is a support group. SOFA, an acronym
Yet Wolfson believes her work is different from befor Speak Our Feelings Aloud, which ad- ing a good friend or a supportive family member. The
dresses topics relevant to members and the art of counseling is very different.
college population at large.
It is a skill one has to nurture with understanding
Fourteen years ago Wolfson was approached by a that it is about the client, she says.
student looking to set up a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance)

More Than Just Advice


HORIZONS Self Reflections


The Time Before Sanity: A Quest For The Great


By Desiree Swendsen
Senior Staff Writer

very now and then we have what

is called an A-ha! moment.
Or, if you want to use grown up
words, an epiphany. They can be small, for
instance, when you finally understand how
to solve that gross math problem. It could
also be major, when you are faced with a
decision that could change your life. This
is the story of how I found my A-ha! moment. I realized my overall purpose in life.
Last year could pretty much be called
the worst year of my life. I had faced severe loss in just about every way possible.
My world was ripped out from underneath
me, but it was within losing it all that I began to learn about myself.
My morning routine in St. Vincents
Behavioral Health Center went something
like this, Id greet every patient I saw at

the med counter, ask them how they were,

smile and tell each one I was proud of them
and how well they were doing. I dealt with
my problems by giving everyone else support, support I didnt have. support I, myself, craved.
Many of my nights were spent walking
up and down the halls for hours talking
with patients that couldnt sleep. Sitting in
the back lounge attempting a guided meditation, stretching and doing yoga.
Suddenly in a moment a thought struck
me as I layed down on the cold, tiled floor,
staring up at the clouds through the skylight. I didnt want to be the patient anymore. My life hadnt been easy, but I was
given a gift. I had learned skills necessary
to overcome my obstacles with full self
awareness. I had been exposed to a variety

ioral Healthcare program and saw that I

already had most of the classes to complete
it. She explained that it would give me a
special insight if I chose that particular
field. So, this semester I have started taking the classes I will need to get that certificate. It has been a blessing, teaching me
more about myself. Im gaining my confidence, Im sure I have chosen the right
The dreadful path I had taken has led
me to fully understand my purpose. I had
recently met up with a friend of mine from
those days in the hospital. He looked me
over as we walked passed Housatonic and
said, Dude, all of these things didnt just
happen for no reason. You were born to be
a therapist. I just smiled, shrugged, replying, Yeah, I guess youre right.

Tuition Anxiety

By Latisa Pacheco

of difficult experiences, I could relate in

one degree or another to others who were
struggling through the same issues. I returned back home determined to conquer
my demons and not let anything stand in
the way of becoming the person I wanted
to be.
I exposed my hardest battle in an article written in last semesters Horizons. I
brought my entire self into question so I
could try to understand why I had done the
things that landed me in an inpatient facility for the second time in my life.
After the article ran, I spoke with Professor Coba-Loh, my abnormal psychology professor. I told her about how much
I wanted to get involved, to help others as
a mental health care worker or counselor.
She pulled out a pamphlet on the Behav-

lost track of time sitting at my desk looking intensely at the computer screen. I was flipping
through online college catalogs and scrolling
through my iPhone reading emails from Rutgers,
The Kings, Tulane, and UPenn, among many others.
I was smiling because I had choices.
Sitting on my soft purple chair next to the windows
I looked up at the canvas above my desk of a woman
shopping in Paris. Then, I imagined going all out to explore and living on campus-but who was I kidding- I
hated sharing a room. What if my roommate was not as
clean as me, or as quiet as me, and the thought of her
having a guy friend sleeping over or having relations
while I am still inside the room fueled my anger and
Now I was panicking, too much thinking causes my
anxiety attacks, my therapist said.
So, to put my mind at ease I took a deep breath and
stuck with the idea of applying to at least three collegestwo state schools and one private school.
For these schools to have even considered me was
flattering and made me feel proud, but unless I was getting a sweet offer for a full ride to any of these private
schools there was no way I could afford to attend.
I didnt have savings set aside for college. At the moment I needed a car and a better job to make ends meet,
so saving for college was not an option, it was a luxury
that I did not have.
The University of New Haven offered me a $2000
transfer scholarship, but Kings College offered me
$12,000, the largest amount of all those who contacted
me. Still, I was hesitant. These schools still cost twice
as much, if not more than the scholarships they offered.
How would I afford the books and excessive fees?
This of course is relative to if I choose to become a part
time or full time student.
Once again I was thinking too much and my anxiety
led to doubtful thinking- that financial aid would give
me little to nothing to cover each semester-and I would
become a college dropout. I started to click the red X
in the browser-exiting the website of those overpriced
I thought about what my therapist said, think about

the here and now.

And right now, I was thankful that Phi Theta Kappa was the reason that these highly rated colleges even
contacted me. I did the hard work and the organization
noticed that I maintained an A-average. Finally!- I

School officials would nag me about getting more involved on campus in order to get recognized by a good
school. Dont get me wrong, I have nothing against volunteering, unpaid-internships, or school clubs. Afterall,
Ive experienced them all during high school and even
a short while after.
I was a part of the peer mediator club as well as the
golf and tennis teams in high school. I also volunteered
at the Mount Vernon Soup Kitchen and Wartburg Nursing Home Gift Shop in New York.
It was my 3.4 GPA, though, that led the Whos Who
Among American High School Students organization to
contact me about scholarship opportunities.
At community college, I volunteered at the Jewish
Vocational Services in Boston, MA as a receptionist and
I helped organize and participated in the Boys and Girls
Club clothing drive. I also interned for World Artist

Network in Bridgeport, CT.

As rewarding as these activities were, none of them
was the reason for why Phi Theta Kappa wanted me to
join their academic organization.
I was content with my decision to not join multiple
clubs simply for the benefit of knowing that it looks
good on your resume and school applications. I needed
to focus on my grades and my job.
I already had a full load and I wanted to have some
free time to enjoy life before I die or before my anxiety
causes me to lose my mind-which ever came first.
I got up from my purple chair and made my way
over to the closet. I reached for my wallet and selected a
credit card instead of debit- allowing myself more time
to pay off any expenses.
I submitted two applications. One to Central Connecticut State University and the other to Southern Connecticut State University. A 100 bucks gone or should I
say- a weeks paycheck as a student worker.
I thought about what my therapist said, dont worry
about 10 years from now, things will work themselves
I became slightly less worried because I still had the
opportunity to go after internships related to my major
in hopes of landing my dream job. Plus, my grades are
my best bet to a scholarship that would cover the low
cost of a state college; avoiding the $50-100,000 in student loans.
A few weeks later, I received an envelope from Central Connecticut State University. I opened it and noticed that it was my acceptance letter. I was happy, but I
did not notice any information about giving me a scholarship, only a notification about a $200 deposit.
I threw the letter under my desk and jumped face
down on my bed, upset that my next paycheck would go
toward the deposit and that my hope relied on getting
a state grant or a scholarship through the Phi Theta
Kappa website.
I tried to think about what my therapist would say.
Except all I could think about was that a few weeks ago,
I was smiling because I had choices, but what I did not
have and still struggle to have is money.

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HORIZONS Self Reflections


Disabled to Co-host of Keepin it Real

By Fredric H. Cilbrith III

y experience with Cerebral

Palsy has been very interesting. Being born with
something I had no control over has given me a deeper insight into the human
condition. I have overcome a lot of
obstacles. I felt very insecure about myself. So much so, that I wouldnt wear
any shorts during the summer because
they would show off my orthopedics.
Have you ever walked down a hallway with people staring at you? Thinking to yourself What are they staring
at? You get the feeling as if youre being judged before they even get to know
you. Then as you walk up to them they
look down pretending that youre not
even there. You try make an effort to be
a part of the conversation thats going
on yet they just shut you entirely out.
Then you go throughout the day, thinking to yourself those people dont like
me because Im different thats happened to me.
When I was born with Cerebral Palsy, the doctors told my parents within
2-3 weeks. Cerebral Palsy is a mental and physical disability. From what
my parents and grandparents have told
me you cant catch Cerebral Palsy.
Youre born with it, therefore its chronic. Heres my story. One day, my grandmother came into my hospital room and
found that my legs arent moving at all.
I was on an incubator for about two
months. The incubator works like this,
there is a balloon attached to the machine that controls your breathing. According to my parents, I could only fill
up half of the balloon on my own. Because of that, it caused a lack of oxygen
to my brain. From that point on I have
lived with Cerebral Palsy all of my life.
One of the questions that I have always asked myself is Why? In 2009,

Naugatuck, CT in 1997. I was 9 years

old at the time. We didnt see each other for 13 years. In 2010, we met back
up through a mutual friend named Craig
Vansteinburg. From that point we were
inseparable. Now weve known one another for over 20 years.
High school for me was at times intimidating. I was worried about the entire experience. I didnt know how the
kids were going to take to me having
a disability. Never mind the peer pressure to fit in with the regular crowd.
I wanted to be in the popular crowd or
at least be considered as one of them.
But it wasnt until junior year, that I figured out why fit in when you can stand
out?which was another topic I talked
about in depth with my previous article.
There are many instances in school
that I remember being teased or made
fun of. I remember being called the
crippled kid behind my back. One
day I went to the school candy store and
asked one person if I could get a candy
bar before we all went to lunch. The person said to me Sorry, Were closed. I
asked him again and he pushed me and
I fell down with all of my books falling out of my hands. I then proceeded to
get back up and put my fist to his face.
A teacher walked by and said Is anything wrong here? I said No. Then I
walked away.
Later that day, I went to my guidance
counselor and as we were talking the
teacher that stopped me came into the
room. He asked me, Do you want the
student who pushed you to be reported
to the main office. I shook my head,
When it came to getting a date in
high school, I wasnt the Jock. I made
friends with a lot of the upperclassmen
and freshmen. At times I would drift

Disabled to Co-host 2: Photo by Anson Smith

David King and Fredric Cilbrith III on TV

I wrote article entitled Disabled: Different and Proud of It. Throughout that
article I addressed the reason to asking
that question. To this day, that is still the
one enigma that I cant seem to get an
answer for.
When I was in elementary school,
I was the shy kid who didnt talk that
much. I was very quiet and mostly kept
to myself. At the age of 5 years old, I
met my best friend David King. He and
I first met in 1992 and then I moved to

between social groups. I never had a

girlfriend in high school. Also I never
was as they say popular with the ladies. I had a lot of crushes on certain
girls, but I was always too nervous to
speak to any of them. But I think by junior year everything seemed to pan out
for me. People knew who I was and I
felt good about myself. I went to Junior Prom and Senior Cotillion without
a date. At the time I wanted to go to a
dance with a date, but as I said before I

lacked the courage to ask any girl out.

In 2007, I entered Housatonic Community College. I have to admit the first
day I was extremely nervous. Being put
into a new environment, with different
people was very daunting for me. As
I got through my first semester I realized that most people didnt care about
my disability. At that precise moment
it was overwhelming for me, because I
didnt have to explain anything at all.
Occasionally, questions would arise as
to what I had, but for the most part the

to him, Give me a week to think about

it. I went home and asked my father
for his advice. He said, Freddie, youre
going to help your friend out with his
show. I think you should do it. Because
itll help you be social and get you out
of the house more. Know that youre
going into something thats totally different than what youre used to. Listen
and learn to gain as much experience as
you can. I went to my Aunt Judy and
she told me, Freddie, youd be stupid
not to do this. Because youll be able to

Disabled to Co-host 1: Photo by Anson Smith

We see green screen in the studio

people at college accepted me. For once

I was considered to be part of the regular
Its when my first group of friends
graduated that I realized, This isnt like
home anymore. Since then I have made
some mistakes as does anyone, but Ive
tried to learn from most of them. Ive
come back to school with a new mindset and focused on my schoolwork. I
now am writing for the Horizons newspaper, which I find to be refreshing.
I have also made various personal
achievements in my life. Last March, I
got in contact with The Kennedy Center out of Trumbull, CT. Through them
I contacted BRS (Bureau of Rehabilitation Services) who help people find
employment. Through BRS I met Mark
Primavera. He helped me in taking the
public bus system, so I could get back
and forth to school. At the time even
though it was learning how to get to
and from one place, it built one key element that I seem to lack and that was
In April of this year, my best friend
David King was offered the position
to host his own television show called
Keepin it Real. This was after he had
done guest spots in two other shows for
a year and a half. He came to me early
and said Hey Freddie, do you want to
be my co-host? I have to admit at first
I didnt want to do it because I was nervous. I ultimately thought I would make
him look bad.
A few months ago, David asked me
to go on his show. Once again I was nervous. The episode we did included an
interview with myself and what it was
like to be disabled and go to college.
According to Davids boss, the show
went well. So well, that it had gotten
good ratings. It was the most watched
episode of his show at the time. Then
David came to me again and said, So,
do you want to be my co-host? I said

get your name out there and network. I

agreed with her. By the end of the week,
I gave David his answer.
On September 2, 2014, David and I
went down to the studio as usual to do
his show. I had called Mark Primavera
and his coworker Margaret Mixion to
appear on the show to offer their perspective on the issues most disabled
people deal with on a daily basis. A few
minutes before showtime, I got a phone
call from David saying he missed the
last bus to get to the studio. If you can
do the show Freddie, go do it. In short,
I was nervous at the opening and I didnt
close the show well. But in the middle of
the show itself my nervousness seemed
to calm down. All in all, David came at
4:00 p.m. and says to me Youre now
officially the co-host.
To be honest, Ive never really gotten
out that much nor been that social. So
to do a show like this has been a dream
come true. Its broken so many barriers
that I have had up my entire life. It almost looks like as if it isnt me on television. Like its another side of me that is
now being shown to the world. I am very
proud of myself for doing something out
of my so called box. I only hope that I
can become better as time permits.
I posed a question earlier that I keep
asking myself from time to time. That
is Why? Ive realized that there are
somethings in life that you dont have
the answers for. Now having a few years
of college under my belt, Ive been
happy in just being myself. Ill admit
at times that I still get down on myself
about things and get depressed for some
reason or another. But I still try to do the
best and be the best person I can be at
the end of the day.
You all can watch the show on channel 88 on Wednesdays at 8:30p.m. We
encourage all of you to watch and tell us
what you think of the show.

HORIZONS Self Reflections


By Brenna McIntyre
Arts Editor

Ascending to New Heights

have been hiking from a young age. It started with

local hikes, like Sleeping Giant in Hamden or the
twisting trails of Eisenhower Park in my hometown
of Milford. As I have matured so have my hiking endeavors. Two years ago I hit a new all time best when I made
a pilgrimage to the notorious White Mountains in New
Hampshire. I hiked up Mount Jefferson, the third tallest
peak in the North East, and sauntered to the near by summit of Mount Clay. Once on top of Clay I made a foolish
maneuver of jumping between two rocks and landed on
my toe requiring me to turn around and painfully head
back to my car. A dark purple toenail accompanied pleasant memories as souvenirs of that hike.
Recently I decided to attempt that hike again, this time
adding a new challenge. The fateful day arrived and I
stood at the base of Mount Jefferson and looked over to
a summit two peaks away. Mount Washington appeared
as an intimidating behemoth that seemed impossible to
vanquish. Standing at 6,289 feet, it is the tallest mountain
in the North East.
I started on the wooden boards that line the first flat
quarter mile of the Cap Ridge Trail that I used to make it
to the top of the first mountain of the day, Jefferson. The
ease of this section soon became a fuzzy memory once I
hit the unrelenting incline of the rest of the trail. The more
I walked, the smaller the army of trees that surrounded me
grew until they deserted me completely as I got above the
tree line and hit the first of three rocky caps that signaled
that the summit was becoming a tangible reality.
Maneuvering over the caps was more like rock climbing than hiking since the angle was so extreme. It required
all four limbs and a bit of logical thinking but I managed
to clear the third and was left only with what is referred
to as the rock pile. The rock pile is a collection of hundreds of thousands of rocks, ranging in size from six inches to five feet across, that accumulated as a result of a tagteam effort by tectonic plates and glaciers. The rocks were
loose and I had to constantly steady myself to prevent any
falls but I managed to make my way to the summit after a
few hours of hard work. The view was breath-taking, an
almost clear blue sky and an endless sea of mountains. I
looked over to my left and with a sinking feeling, saw the
distant towers that marked my goal of Mount Washington.
One mountain separated us, Mount Clay. To get over
to Clay, one has to walk across Monticellos Lawn, a massive grassy field a mile in the sky. After the majestic field,
there is another rock pile that needed to be conquered.
The beautiful view surrounded me as I worked my way
to up and finally reached my second summit of the day.
At this point I was starting to feel a bit sore as I looked

By Victor Dawson
Senior Staff Writer

around the place I had been two years prior. It was an

amazing feeling as I started taking my first steps toward
my final destination, knowing that every step led me to a
new personal best.
Walking the narrow trail I looked down the very steep
Great Gulf and was very thankful that I do not have a fear
of heights. Seeing the tiny forests and pond at the bottom
put my altitude in perspective. At one point on the trail,
I needed to cross over the Cog Railway tracks, the metal
and wood almost laughed at me because I took the hard
way up as they were facilitating tourists arriving at the
summit with no physical effort. After the railway, I soon
made it to the rock pile, the final obstacle in my way. Every foot of elevation gain had my body screaming but I
knew I had no choice but continue upward.
I almost had tunnel vision when I looked around when
I got on top. The view was spectacular. After the initial

body of a man 63 year old man who had died on the trail
that I had traversed only hours prior. The search and rescue worker continued forward with great speed and sure
enough I soon heard the loud sound of helicopter blades
and saw its massive black silhouette.
I read about injuries and deaths on mountains pretty
regularly, but I had never been this close to one. As I continued my descent, I watched a man rappel from the helicopter with a litter and a few minutes later ascend with
the body. It was unnerving to know what happened where
I was standing earlier, but I was comforted by knowing
that man saw such tremendous beauty before he passed.
In addition, he died doing something that he loved since
no one would attempt a mountain as difficult as Jefferson
unless they had a passion for hiking.
As I got lower in elevation, so did the sun. I was rewarded with the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. It
was a sunset, so beautiful that words cannot do it justice.
At this point I was back on Jefferson working my way
down the caps. I stopped every few minutes to just stop
and stare at the unspeakable view until the sun went below the horizon. I had to then don a headlamp to see as
the trail was pitch black. Animals and insects began to
creep out of their daytime hiding places including, most
disturbingly for me, spiders which chose to crawl all over
the same rocks that I needed to.
Time seemed to be at almost a standstill as I trudged
through the trail; my ankles constantly giving out due to
the bumpy surface and pure exhaustion. I finally saw the
wooden boards that signal, the end is near and experienced an elation that was far too much for just some rotten
pieces of wood. The flat, soft surface gave much needed
relief to my feet and ankles which felt like they would fall
off any second.
I finally reached the parking lot and saw the glorious
sight of my car. The feeling of the seat was fantastic as
I sat down. I was places that day where only a few people will ever leave foot prints. That knowledge is what
pushes me to keep getting out in nature and going to new
After all is said and done, my hike was over fifteen
miles and had over a mile of elevation gain. I was on the
trail for about eleven hours. I had made a new personal
best, one that will be near impossible to beat. I saw some
of the most gorgeous things that nature offers as well as
the aftermath of one of natures most cruel acts.
Early on in my hike I had briefly talked with another
hiker and explained to him my plan for the day. As I headed home, I realized his reaction to what I was going to do
was the same as mine after I completed it, Holy shit!

I saw some of the most gorgeous

things that nature offers as well as
the aftermath of one of natures most
cruel acts.
shock of the faraway beauty I was able to take a closer
look at my surroundings. The summit of Washington was
covered in tourists. Wearing flip-flops and looking bright
eyed and energetic, they were taking selfies and discussing how cool it was to be on top. I was only able to spot
a few others with the tired expressions and sluggish foot
steps that mirrored my own, marking that they had earned
their way to the top, unlike the majority who arrived via
train or car.
Soon an opaque sheet of clouds appeared, obscuring
all views and giving the distinct feeling of being in a giant
white void. I made my way toward the one benefit of all
the tourists, the Mount Washington Observatory, and was
able to enjoy the comfort of a real bathroom and a warm
and invigorating bowl of vegetarian chilli. Once I got my
strength back I knew I needed to start heading back toward my car. So I started my way back, this time avoiding the peaks of Clay and Jefferson, choosing the shortest
possible way back.
When I got to back to Monticellos Lawn I heard someone behind me. It was a search and rescue worker who
was almost sprinting along the trail. He explained that he
was trying to meet up with a military helicopter that was
going to be landing on the Cap Ridge Trail on Jefferson in
about ten minutes. The helicopter was going to pick up the

A Changing Mindset

hange is important. In my case, change was affected my high school progress because I didnt truly decision to either embrace the reality, or fail. I made
extremely pivotal to my growth as a young apply myself to my academics. When I would earn a up in my mind, that once college started I was going
bad report card or progress report, my parents would to truly put a consistent effort towards school and give
Graduating high school and going to college was a lecture me on how important school was and then I it my all. I started to mature and look at things from a
huge transition, and I knew that I had to move along would clean up my act, but revert right back to my old different perspective.
When I started at Housatonic, my mindset changed
ways. It was like I cared about how well I did, but at the
with it.
Back when I attended high school I was always to same time I didnt care, so that half and half mindset and I became focused, but most importantly consistent.
myself, I had very little confidence in who I was, and caused me to be inconsistent. Teachers would always I changed my studying habits, started sitting in front
I was dependent on other people to do things for me. tell my parents and I about how much potential I had of the class, and became more of a dedicated student.
Since I was the youngest of my two sisters, growing but that never mattered in my mind. I didnt realize how For the first time in my life, I found out what it was
up I always had things done for me and I never had to important it was, to put my best foot forward in school like to be independent. The transition from being a kid,
worry about doing things on my own. My mother would at the time. No matter if my parents took away my valu- to a young man was huge for me through the process.
always baby me, and my oldest sister was an extension ables, their philosophy never hit home with me until I got a real job, got my own car, learned how to use a
credit card, and all in all learned how to be an adult. My
of her. My oldest sister, Latasha is 6 years older, and my graduation day.
I remember waking up on graduation day, and having family was still present for guidance and support, but
second oldest, Shaniqua is 3 years apart. I just never felt
it was important to be aware of certain things if my par- that surreal feeling going through my body, and start- I didnt have to depend of them as much. I saw the urents and older sisters were going to do it for me. It was ed to be in denial. The feeling of being in denial came gency in my situation and I seized it. College created a
lazy on my part, and having that negative characteristic about because I knew once it was over, the real world new me, because I decided to adapt, rather than perish.
stunted my maturity growth. People who were my age was waiting. The moment, I walked up to the stage to
It took me a while to understand the importance of
were always more aware than I was and there were just grab my high school diploma, thats when reality start- education and independence, but sometimes it takes life
certain questions that I didnt have the answers to.
ed to kick in. From that moment on, I had to make a changing experiences to change a mindset.
Having a nonchalant attitude unfortunately
Turkey Illustrations by: Joshua Eddy, Amanda Fernandez, Ryan Glovna,
Doran Lewis, JeffJean Louis, and Darren Mohammed.

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