Nick K. won the Transfer Times $6,000 Spring Scholarship. He recently graduated from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) with an associate’s degree in liberal arts. This fall, Nick has transferred to Bradley University to complete his bachelor of arts degree in sports communication.
Nick’s educational path after high school began at a large four-year university. He says he chose his mother’s alma mater without as much as visiting or researching majors. After a few weeks on campus, he realized that the school wasn’t the right fit for him and left school. “I was incredibly uncomfortable and wildly insecure about spending tens of thousands of dollars on a degree that I wasn’t sure I wanted.”
Shortly after leaving school, Nick joined a band and toured across the United States playing music for four years. “I had a blast and learned a lot about myself and the world,” he says, “but it was through this journey that I realized I wanted to return to school.”
Nick felt the most logical decision for him would be to return to school at a community college. “I was skeptical as to how successful I could be, but I was blessed with several opportunities that allowed me to commit further than I had ever thought I would. I tried out for the varsity baseball team, and made it. I met great professors that guided me and encouraged me to join some great leadership organizations -Phi Beta Lambda and Phi Theta Kappa.”
After believing he would never return to school, Nick completed his associate’s degree at DMACC with a 4.0 GPA and received other honors including being named a four-time Academic All-Region student-athlete and a top ten finisher in two categories at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference.
Future plans for Nick include working for Major League Baseball. “I’d like to work either directly for a team or the league itself in some communication role, such as public relations or media relations. I hope to instill the belief that anything can be accomplished with proper drive and motivation, just as I proved to myself with the help of my community college.”
Nick says the Transfer Times scholarship will help ease the financial burden of paying for college – especially, he says, since he is 24 and can’t rely on financial assistance from my parents. “Finding more hours to study rather than work will be a great relief.”
One word sums up Nick’s experience in community college – community. “I learned how to build relationships with professors, staff, students of all backgrounds, ages, and cultures, and the community that supports us. I learned how important building and maintaining a personal community that you can trust and build with is so important, and that led me to the decision to continue on in my education, and try a four-year university again.”
When transferring, Nick says he made sure to research and visit several schools before making his choice. “I found everything that I was looking for in Bradley University, and I am excited to be able to share my story and experience with perspective students for the next two years as a Student Admissions Representative.”
Nick’s advice for community college students planning to transfer? Make your own decision, and don’t rush your choice.
“Research several schools that meet your interests, and if you’re not comfortable with any, don’t force yourself -- Be confident in your choice. Nothing has prepared me better than my experience at DMACC!”