Experiencing convenience and diversity
When Lesly thinks about her future, she sees herself in a blue uniform as a police officer, preferably in the community she grew up. As Lesly began earning credits toward her associate degree at Howard Community College (HCC), she learned that some of her required classes are offered at Laurel College Center (LCC), a regional higher education center founded by Howard and Prince George’s Community Colleges. The option immediately appealed to her, with LCC located just a few miles away from her place of employment. As it turns out, convenience is just one of many benefits Lesly has experienced at LCC.
“The classes at Laurel College Center are very diverse, which has made my learning experience very positive,” said Lesly, who is of Spanish descent. “It’s nice to be in class with people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. I’m more comfortable and have been able to make good connections.”
Furthermore, Lesly values the quality education she is receiving with faculty who provide a real-world perspective on legal and criminal justice issues. One of those professors, Evelyn Del Rosario, assistant professor of criminal justice, played an instrumental role in helping Lesly confirm she was on the right career path and sparking a new level of passion for the work police offers do in their communities every day.
“Ms. Del Rosario worked for the police academy, so she was able to tell us stories and examples of things that really happen out there,” Lesly recalls. “It was inspiring and made me realize this is definitely what I want to do with my career.”
Lesly currently works full time as a customer service representative and takes two classes each semester. She appreciates the flexibility to earn credits toward her degree on both the HCC and LCC campuses.“It helps a lot to have choices, especially as I am trying to juggle school with full-time work,” she said. “Being a student here has been a very positive experience. I am building the knowledge I need to graduate, get the job I want, and be successful.”