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Elisha Patterson Says ‘You’re Not Alone’ at CCC

For Elisha Patterson, CCC was a second chance and a transformative experience.

Like about 30% of current CCC students, Elisha enrolled as an older, returning student. After high school, she felt she needed to focus on work.

“In Richmond, I think we’re raised ­­to do K through 12,” she explains, “But, also asked, ‘How are you going to provide?’”

“I came back to school in 2016,” she explains. “What got me to was tragedy. But, also just coming to the realization that, in order for me to be better as a person, I needed more education.”

Once she got here, Elisha loved the opportunity to believe and invest in herself.

Still, like many students, Elisha has to work. This semester, she’s doing work study in the Admissions and Records Office.

“I need money because I’ve got rent and stuff to pay,” she explains. “But, I need to focus on school.”

To help her do that, Elisha applied for CCC Foundation scholarships. Last year, she received the African American Staff Association Scholarship, the African-American Department Scholarship, and the Early Childhood Education Department Scholarship.

“Those scholarships really helped me a lot last semester,” she says. “The time it took to write the essays and fill out the application was worth it, because I got a three-point-eight GPA!”

This year, she applied again–and was awarded the Dean Lesher, ASU Achievement, and Dr. Intisar Shareef scholarships, as well as the prestigious Kennedy King Scholarship! Those will be handy in the fall, when she transfers to a four-year university to pursue bachelor’s degrees in African-American studies and early childhood development.

Next month, she’ll be graduating from CCC with degrees in African American studies and liberal arts, as well as two certificates in early childhood development.

When asked what her greatest achievements were at CCC, Elisha has quite a list: “Being open to receive what’s for me. Being okay to fall and just get back up. Being open to my vision and being open to myself, and growing. Being here has affirmed my identity.”

She encourages future students to be willing to try. “Be open to being uncomfortable,” she says.

And, also know that, “When you come here, you’re not alone. There’s so much help.”