Jenessa: From Medicine to Music

April 8, 2024

Jenessa hasn’t always dreamed of becoming a high school band director. She originally planned to enter the medical field, but that all changed her junior year of high school when she joined marching band.

It sparked a passion in her that she now wishes to pass on to others the way her band director did. Having graduated from East Peoria Community High School, Illinois Central College was an obvious next step for her, and she feels she made the right choice.

“I would absolutely recommend ICC to anyone! The teachers are excellent, and many of financial aid opportunities are available. I don’t think anyone should think twice about going to a community college.” 

Jenessa, ICC Student

“I love ICC so far. I am only a first-year student, but it truly is an amazing institution. I have felt nothing but support here,” she gushes. A multi-instrument aficionado, Jenessa’s main instrument is the flute, but “for fun,” she says, she also plays the piccolo, piano, guitar, and ukulele.

Once she graduates from ICC, Jenessa plans to finish her music education degree at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), a school she says she would not have been able to afford right out of high school.

Instead, ICC music professor Dr. Julie Clemens helped Jenessa get a scholarship, one of many things about Dr. Clemens that Jenessa is eternally grateful for. Of Dr. Clemens, Jenessa says, “She is the most amazing, fun, and educated instructor and I am very lucky to be under her direction. She is a wonderful human.”

Not only is Jenessa gaining the education she needs for her future career, she is also being exposed to opportunities like performances and instrument demos for grade school students, which she feels are preparing her for her career using real-life experiences.

Because of the support and advice she’s received at ICC, Jenessa is also confident her classes will transfer “flawlessly” to UIUC, paving the way for her to be successful. She encourages others to see what ICC is all about.