In 2009, Erin Landis had enough of education.
“I was incredibly fed up with school after I graduated, although I had done well throughout high school,” the 20-year-old North Penn High School graduate said. “And I had no idea what direction I wanted to go in.”
So she went west.
“I took a year off. I convinced my older brother to accompany me on a four-month road trip that took us to the corners of America. We adopted a black lab puppy along the way, worked as ‘pickers’ in an apple orchard for two weeks, stayed the night in a treehouse hotel, and visited a wolf sanctuary,” she said.
Brother and sister also visited more typical “touristy” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Redwood forests, and Yosemite National Park.
“It was quite the adventure,” Landis said.
“But, I had planned on returning to school when I came home, and so I enrolled at Montgomery County Community College in the fall of 2010,” she said,
In spite of a year’s worth of adventure, Landis was still unsure what she wanted to do with her life.
“I was still unsure of my future intentions concerning a career path and the tuition rates were quite appealing,” she said.
At MCCC, Landis became involved in the Honors Program during all four semesters.
The program provides an opportunity for highly motivated students to expand their intellectual, cultural and social horizons in a caring, stimulating environment. Students are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.25 to remain in the program.
“The Honors Program covers my tuition costs, so I am basically attending school for free (minus book costs and a few other fees) and I greatly appreciate this privilege,” Landis said.
Landis does not take her good fortune lightly. To remain in the Honors Program, she is required to participate in the Honors Club; she is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society. But she also willingly volunteers her time and energy for Relay for Life and Alternative Spring Break, an MCCC program in which she worked with a group of students for Habitat for Humanity in Michigan for a week last year.
“It was a fun and rewarding experience and such a great opportunity that MCCC makes possible,” she said.
Landis will graduate in May with an associate’s degree in liberal studies.
“I only recently decided to major in environmental science, so this semester I am taking classes in a track to an environmental science bachelor’s degree,” she said.
But where? Landis has applied to 10 different out-of-state schools. In the meantime, she hopes to score a summer internship to get a taste of some environmental jobs. She hopes to combine her love of the environment and travel in the perfect career, but she just doesn’t know exactly what that might be yet.
“MCCC has been a great stepping stone for me as I bridge the gap between high school and a bachelor’s degree,” Landis said, a sort of staging area for her next big adventure.
~ by Neree Aron-Sando