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Feature Friday

 

Student Success Stories: Personal stories of student persistence during challenging times

 

College of Menominee Nation students were asked to share their challenges and successes during the COVID-19 pandemic relating to their education and the change of in-person classes to online classes.

 

 

 

"I do miss in person classes because I learn from the other students when they share their own perspective and their personal stories, especially when it’s related to topics we’re learning in class." - Rayna Tucker

 

 

"I have children at home. They see me learning and they want to do their schoolwork, too." - Elmer Denny

 

 

My Struggles and Successes During COVID-19

 

Applonia Gomez

March of 2020 is a month I’ll never forget. One day I’m going to work as normal, and the next day I am released from my job indefinitely because of the coronavirus. Food shelves were empty, bottled water was scarce, and (for some odd reason) toilet paper had vanished. Everywhere I went in public I could see fear and panic on everyone’s face. Kids were scared, parents were frantic, and I feared for my elders. It felt like the world was ending, and I remember fear creeping into my state of mind. But then I forced myself to snap out of it - I told myself this is NOT how my world will end and I knew the only real way to make a change for myself was to go back to school.

 

I owed the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) just shy of $5,000 which meant I couldn’t get my official transcripts. I also couldn’t enroll at CMN with such an outstanding balance. Again, this wave of fear swept me off my feet and I almost gave up. But I realized, in that moment, that this was an opportunity to do something great. As scared as I was, I knew I had to make some serious moves to get back into school.

 

I made myself talk to people from CMN. I made myself seek help and direction from others. In the middle of a global pandemic, I forced myself to put in the time and effort to get my outstanding balance taken care of. In August of 2020, I was enrolled for the fall semester at CMN in, not one, but TWO programs of study. By October of 2020, my account balance was at $0.00. It is November of 2020, I have finished my fall semester with outstanding grades and I am enrolled for the upcoming spring semester. It honestly has been such a privilege and joy to attend CMN during these times.

 

2020 has been full of stress and worry, but it has also been a real turning point in my life. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have returned to school if it wasn’t for COVID-19. So, in a way, I’m grateful for this pandemic for it has brought out the best in me in ways that I could never have imagined and I will never forget this year.

 

With all of that being said, I do want to send my condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19. We are all in this together, and we will all be stronger because of this.

 

With love,
Appolonia Gomez

Peot Scholarship Fall 2020

 

"The instructors have been amazing during this time. I'm really grateful for their time and patience." - Samantha Shawanokasic

 

 

"It took plenty of discipline and initiative to stay on task." - Richard Oshkeshequoam

Peot Scholarship Fall 2020

 

 

"I used my final project as a marketing plan to boost monetary donations for the Oneida Emergency Food Pantry." - Marlon Skenandore