When Kayla Sheely left high school, she had lots of possibilities she wanted to explore.
Going without food for 30 hours may not have been one of the possibilities she had anticipated, but it turned out to be a rewarding one.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I first started my college career,” Sheely said. “Montgomery County Community College seemed to be a good way to explore my options and take classes in a variety of areas of study.”
At Montgomery County Community College, Sheely became involved with the Thrive Club, a Christian Fellowship organization, where as president of the club, she helped plan a very special event.
“Most recently, we cohosted an event called 30-Hour Famine with the ACE [community service] Club to raise money and awareness for global hunger,” Sheely explained. “Basically, for 30 hours, about 20 students went without food to give us a small taste of what those who are hungry are going through. We fundraised, did community service and had fun together during the 30 hours.”
The 30-Hour Famine was developed by World Vision to help combat hunger and poverty in the Horn of Africa. MCCC’s event raised $2,800 for the organization.
“Even as we were without food, our experience was nowhere comparable to those who are actually hungry in places like Africa or Asia,” Sheely said. “It was awesome to see the Thrive and ACE students step up and give their own time and money to this cause.”
The Thrive Club also held “Thrive Out,” a concert and food drive that benefited Philabundance; hosted a dodge ball tournament to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and participated in MCCC’s 2011 and 2012 Relay for Life.
When she first enrolled at MCCC, Sheely was already familiar with the school; she had taken a few classes during her senior year of high school, which allowed her to graduate early.
“A big [factor] was the cost,” said the 18-year-old Lansdale resident. “MCCC was much more affordable than a four-year school. I also received an Honors Program scholarship, which was a huge financial help.”
The Montgomery County Community College Honors Program offers a unique opportunity for high-ability students in Associate in Arts or Associate in Science transfer degree programs to thrive intellectually in a comfortable and challenging academic environment. In classes of 15 students or fewer, Honors students, through creative and stimulating interaction with professors as mentors and facilitators, assume responsibility for their own learning.
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.
“This scholarship lifted a huge burden off my parents and me, and it allows me to face the next two years of schooling with confidence, knowing that MCCC helped me knock the first two years out with no debt,” Sheely said.
The next two years, which begin after Sheely graduates in May 2012 with an associate’s degree in Liberal Studies, should see her majoring in public relations at Temple University, she said.
Ultimately, she hopes to use the leadership skills she acquired at MCCC in her work in public relations at a nonprofit organization that combats human trafficking.
~ by Neree Aron-Sando