Good advising from TRiO goes a long way
Te’Yona Miller graduated from Manual High School, studied Mass Communications at ICC, is finishing her Bachelor’s in Radio/Television at University of Central Florida and aspires to be a Television Producer.
QuestionHow and why did you decide to enroll at Illinois Central College?
I couldn’t afford to go to University right away and I don’t believe I was ready. I went to Illinois Central College because it was affordable, and it was this sort of gateway to University. It’s kind of like when you buy and new goldfish. You don’t just throw it into the new tank. You have to let it sit in the bag to get used to the water. That’s what it felt like. ICC was a great way for me to get accustomed to college without paying outrageous amounts of money in tuition. Because scholarships and grants, I never paid for my Associate degree.
QuestionDuring your time at ICC, you participated in the TRiO program and Phi Theta Kappa. How did getting involved with these groups help you succeed while attending ICC?
Phi Theta Kappa was important to me because I was around peers that understood wanting to be academically successful. I got an offer to join and I didn’t hesitate to go for it.
TRiO on the other hand, was the most important thing I ever joined because they contributed to my overall success — academically and mentally. I had an amazing support system while I was with the program and was even able to help tutor other students. The college trips, the advising, the moral support — it all meant very much to me.
QuestionWhat were your initial hopes or expectations of ICC?
Initially, I just wanted ICC to help make it easier on me to transition to University. I wanted to gain a quality education that I could then bring with me to University. The professors are knowledgeable, and I loved the campus. I also loved the diversity and different types of students I was able to meet. I gained new perspectives on many things during my time at ICC.
Initially, I just wanted ICC to help make it easier on me to transition to college. I wanted to gain a quality education that I could then bring with me. The professors are knowledgeable, and I loved the campus. I also loved the diversity and different types of students I was able to meet. I gained new perspectives on many things during my time at ICC.
QuestionWhat about ICC have you found to be the most helpful on your path to earning a college degree?
TRiO has definitely been the most helpful and I hope students are taking advantage of it. Good advising goes a long way. It helps when you know you have people that believe in you. The writing center and supplemental instruction are good tools as well.
QuestionWhat would you recommend to others, who may not be a traditional student, to find success at ICC?
I guess it starts with a work ethic and a belief that you can do it. You can’t be afraid to ask for help and I hope students aren’t afraid to dream big. People seem to think that just because they are at a community college, they are limited and that’s just not true. I had a dream of working in television that started with community college. You do yourself a disservice when you don’t live up to your full potential. Never go down without a fight and give it everything you got.
QuestionCan you explain what you are doing and who you are interning with and have you completed your bachelor’s degree?
I am currently in my last semester at University of Central Florida and in May, I will finally get my Bachelor’s degree. I’m on my fifth internship and I’ve been dealing with broadcast media for about two years now. Currently, I work with Fox 35 (WOFL) in Creative Services. They are owned and operated by FOX and are located in Orlando. I also intern with NBCUniversal under their NBC Sports division. I do a variety of things but mainly social media, video editing and writing. One of the coolest moments of my life is when I first saw a promo I helped shoot, edit and write on TV. I’ve had a couple of my promotions air on television in Orlando and I love knowing that so many people are going to see my work. The media field can be a wild ride, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’m just so thankful that I had the courage to do what I love.
QuestionDo you consider yourself a traditional (18-26) or non-traditional (27 and over) aged student?
College is so diverse that I’m almost 26 years old and I’ve felt like a traditional student. I don’t feel like I’m an odd ball or that I’m excluded. My priorities are different than that of a 19 year old, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I have met so many amazing people and had so many phenomenal experiences while I’ve been in college, to me, nothing else matters.