When President Obama announced his plan to make community college free to all students, I felt that the future now looks bright for the younger generation of college hopefuls, especially for those students in Arizona. I myself made the decision to attend a two-year community college in Arizona before transferring to a university for several vital reasons that made an impact on my education and willingness to learn.
The first reason I chose to attend a community college was because I simply wanted to try and save myself thousands of dollars and avoid going into debt for as long as possible. The second and more important reason has to do with the lack of college preparedness I received during my high school years in Arizona. I finished my senior year without receiving any information about college from a counselor, I was never encouraged to take the SATs and I graduated feeling discouraged by the state’s education system.
As an Arizona student I feel my education was greatly neglected due to budget cuts in the school systems. If it wasn’t for community college and the close personal connections with faculty and other students I made, I may never have been encouraged to attend a university or felt capable of accomplishing such a significant goal. Now as my final semester of graduate school comes to an end, I can say that I owe my whole college education to community college. This is why I hope the state’s Legislature votes to approve the proposed HB2487 because it will allow thousands of Arizona students to attend community college for free, which I believe is vital to a student’s educational success and overall confidence. In a state ranked so low in education, its proposed ideas like free community college could make the difference in countless young people’s lives.
– Kellie MacDonald-Evoy is a graduate student in social work at Arizona State University.