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Alexis Holmes wins 2013 Paul Simon Essay Contest at SIC

March 6, 2013

Southeastern Illinois College student, Alexis Holmes of Harrisburg, is the college’s 2013 Paul Simon Essay award winner.  Holmes’ winning essay is a reflection on how community college changed her perspective for her future.

Holmes, an art major, is a member of Circle K (the collegiate chapter of Kiwanis) and TRiO.  She is considering studying art at SIU and hopes to incorporate some cross-country backpacking in her future.

Dr. Dana Keating, SIC vice president for academic and student affairs, congratulated Holmes on her award and presented her with a $50 check.  Holmes’ essay will be entered into the Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s Paul Simon Student Essay Contest at the state level.  The winner of that contest will receive a $500 scholarship during an annual awards luncheon this summer in Normal, Ill. 

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Holmes’ Essay:

HOW MY COMMUNITY COLLEGE HAS CHANGED MY LIFE

Alexis Holmes 

                I never thought I would be attending any sort of college and I really have to say that it’s been a truly enlightening experience.  I figured college wasn’t something I’d ever come to like and that there was no point for me, but SIC has opened my eyes and changed my future for the better.  I am now in my second semester of school and I feel that attending this college has been a right choice in my life and a privilege.  It has taught me more about responsibility, friendship, the importance of education, determination and that I am indeed worthy of a brighter future.  The people who attend and work at Southeastern have given me the tools I need to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself.

                I never intended on pursing my education after high school but I don’t regret enrolling and putting one foot in front of the other.  I have become more aware that there is so much to learn in life and that you should never stop growing.  Southeastern Illinois College is more than a small community college.  It is where students come to learn and begin a new chapter in their lives.  It’s a chance to discover new things and figure out who you want to be and learn so much in the process.  The message and spirit of the school has been uplifting and more than helpful.

                I’ve come such a long way since I’ve started with SIC.  I feel that I can reach out for help and know that a guiding hand will be there to show me the way.  I am lucky to have the chance to pursue my education and become a better person and for that, I have my community college to thank.  I’m not sure where I would be if I didn’t give college a shot.  College has its ups and downs and often times stressful but looking at the big picture, I am doing something important for myself.  I am preparing for a chosen university down the road and for the big world that awaits.

                With much to offer, I will continue to reach my potential with the help of my community college and all the opportunities it has to offer.  Entering school has been a big step in the right direction.  I am proud to be a part of this school and to experience the campus atmosphere and the people within it. Attending a community college is one of the first stepping-stones in my life.  The first step is always the hardest part but it pays off in the end.  In my family, most of my relatives never went to college or chased after the dream of a better education, but I did and when I graduate and transfer to a university, I will look back with a smile knowing that Southeastern Illinois College gave me what I need to continue moving forward every day.

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