From GED to Psych Degree with Nicole

Segment #6 from Eastern Iowa Community Colleges


Let’s hear from Nicole, a remarkable student who has conquered some major mental health challenges. She turned her personal trials into a source of inspiration for others struggling with similar issues. Her dedication to making a positive impact on mental health is truly admirable. Take it away, Nicole.

– Thanks, Alex. If you would’ve asked me a decade ago whether I’d be going to college, the answer would’ve been no. Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with my mental health, which led me to drop out of high school. At first, I just wanted to earn my High School Equivalency Diploma, but the supportive staff here at EICC showed me I am capable of so much more. When starting the program, I was met with staff and instructors who cheered me on to the finish line and beyond. They were accommodating to my work schedule and provided me with resources on my next steps. After earning my High School Equivalency Diploma, I decided to challenge myself and finally do something for me, pursue a degree in psychology. Living with mental illness, I understand the struggle so many of us face and I want to be the professional someone can turn to in their hardest moments. I can’t imagine where I’d be if I hadn’t discovered EICC. I’ve taken on leadership roles in clubs like Gray Matters and even joined jazz choir. After hitting rock bottom, finding this community has been a lifeline. Thanks to EICC, I can chase my dreams. Continuing my education after so long was intimidating. I didn’t think I could handle college and work full-time, let alone afford it. The EICC has been with me every step of the way. There’s free adult education courses, easy transfer plans, scholarships, and financial aid helping cover the cost. Looking to the future, I now see the bigger picture. I’ve learned here at EICC that I matter, you matter, and we matter, the underdog matters. No matter where this journey takes me, I’m excited for the ride, and I can’t wait to help people along the way. All yours, Alex.

– Thank you for sharing, Nicole and highlighting the vital role EICC plays in empowering individuals. Beyond the High School Equivalency Diploma, EICC offers free basic adult education courses in reading and math as well as English language acquisition classes to improve English skills. They also provide crucial support and mental health services. Cheers, Nicole.

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