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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE student panel demystifies college success

Five+SE+students+and+alumni+were+chosen+to+be+honored+at+a+dinner+and+reception+as+part+of++Emerging+Scholars%3A+Portraits+of+Success+Nov.+7+and+were+asked+to+share+their+success+stories.++Photo+by+Taurence+Williams%2FThe+Collegian
Five SE students and alumni were chosen to be honored at a dinner and reception as part of Emerging Scholars: Portraits of Success Nov. 7 and were asked to share their success stories. Photo by Taurence Williams/The Collegian

By Mathew Shaw/reporter

Five SE students and alumni were chosen to be honored at a dinner and reception as part of  Emerging Scholars: Portraits of Success Nov. 7 and were asked to share their success stories.  Photo by Taurence Williams/The Collegian
Five SE students and alumni were chosen to be honored at a dinner and reception as part of Emerging Scholars: Portraits of Success Nov. 7 and were asked to share their success stories. Photo by Taurence Williams/The Collegian

Five SE students and an alumnus were honored at a dinner and reception Nov. 7.

As part of the Emerging Scholars: Portraits of Success event, the students were chosen to relate their success stories through the Student Success — Transition to College program.

“We selected students from our STSC courses we thought were successful with academic achievement,” SE STSC coordinator Patty Gonzales said.

The STSC course is offered to first-time students to help them transition into college more easily and prepare them for the future.

The five-student panel discussed topics ranging from what they learned in STSC that they could apply elsewhere to what advice they would give to students entering the program.

Ashley Hamlin, who made straight A’s in high school, said the course exposed her to the diversity of college.

“You might think you’re the best, but you’re really not,” she said.

Students Kiya Aubrey and Amar Borras were inspired to be role models for children.

Borras recalled a quote from his professor that sparked this desire: “I’m there for the outcome, not the income.”

The five students were rewarded with a framed picture of “Think big,” an inspirational poster displayed on the walls of SE Campus.

After the panel, Derrick Horne, a 2012 TCC graduate currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music composition at Southern Methodist University, talked about his experiences and debunked myths about pursuing higher education.

“There are people pulling for you,” he said, referring to TCC’s faculty and staff.

Having been recording since the age of 12, Horne was already a musician when he enrolled at TCC. His desire to do more with his life prompted him to enroll.

“I needed to convince myself that I was more than just a one-trick pony,” he said.

The change from recording artist to college student initially made Horne feel “uncool.” Now, Horne said he values wisdom over being cool.

Horne presented various myths about college, which he proceeded to debunk with a shout of “Busted!”

Starting with the myth that community college was not a real school, Horne cited a CBS News study finding nursing grads from community colleges made $39,000 a year, almost as much as those with four-year degrees.

Horne said community colleges are also more convenient than universities.

“It’s a lot easier to start here and transfer than to start someplace large,” he said.

Addressing the misconception that some people were not smart enough for college, Horne said working hard to remember and applying what one hears is what can get someone by.

“Practice doesn’t make perfect,” he said. “It makes permanent. Perfect practice makes permanent.”

Horne said there is never an age limit on pursuing higher education since he took his first college course 27 years after finishing high school.

“You’re never too old to better yourself by learning,” he said.

The obstacles he had to overcome while in community college taught Horne one valuable lesson: People are never sure what they are capable of until after they have done it.

“If I can do it, you can do it,” he said. “There’s no difference between you and me. We’re all just trying to make it.” 

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