After being injured in a 2004 construction accident, former carpenter John Cirillo was looking for a way to “stay useful.”
Given the challenges he faced, Cirillo, 48, of Willow Grove, turned to Montgomery County Community College.
“I probably wouldn’t have gone back to school if a place like Montgomery County Community College wasn’t available. It was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do, and for the cost,” Cirillo said. “Between my wife and me, we have seven children; that weighed heavily on my decision.”
Cirillo will graduate with a Radiography degree in May 2012.
“I was interested in the medical field. My wife’s an R.N., and she helped convince me to go into radiography,” he said.
After the 2004 accident, Cirillo spent three years making the transition from a wheelchair to a walking cast and still has a little difficulty walking long distances. He finds the College’s campuses very accessible, especially the West Campus in Pottstown.
“I had to take two years in Blue Bell. That was a little difficult because some of the walks can be longer,” he said. “But Pottstown? Piece of cake.”
Along the way, Cirillo earned the Joseph David Prosser Memorial Scholarship for Academic Excellence and the Suburban West Realtors’ Scholarship for students who show excellent academic achievement. He also received a Pell grant for one year.
He admits to not being heavily involved in campus life. With seven children ages 13 to 25, “I get out of school and skedaddle,” he said
Right now, he’s also doing clinical course work, taking patients, performing radiographic tests – “under supervision, of course,” he said.
The future holds promise that he will exceed his desire to stay useful.
“I plan to work in the field I’m going for, right away, and then look into hospital training programs for other modalities, like CT [computed tomography] scans,” Cirillo said. “I’m not looking to do further schooling right now, but if a hospital wants to train me, I’m willing to do it!”
~ by Neree-Aron Sando