Perseverance to Change a Life

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Name: Autumn Cain
Aspiring to be: Psychiatrist

First-year ICC student Autumn Cain felt a college education was inaccessible after becoming homeless during her junior year of high school. She was angry, sad and lacked motivation, ultimately causing her grades to drop.

While sitting on the bunk at the homeless shelter she read an Albert Ellis quote, “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president. You realize you control your own destiny.” While her little sister slept peacefully and her mom read a book, Autumn realized she had to make her own path and there was no better time to change her fate.

Autumn decided to leave her family, a decision most 16-year olds never have to make. Her best friend’s family took her into their home and enrolled her in school. With this family’s support, she was better set up for success. She graduated high school and was ready for higher education.

Autumn chose ICC as her steppingstone to complete her bachelor’s degree. Her ultimate goal is to become a psychiatrist. At ICC, she was awarded a scholarship provided by the Foundation, allowing her to lighten her hectic work schedule. She is thriving in her first year at the College and is impressed with the care and compassion the professors have shown her as they push her to achieve her goals.

Statistically, Autumn knew the odds were against her. But ICC helped her beat those odds. Autumn said, “At ICC, I have a chance to become more than a statistic, and for that I can’t be more grateful. You have turned a girl with a dream, into a woman with a plan.”

“Through learning, minds change. We believe by changing minds, we can change the world.” That is the ICC mission. Faculty and staff pride themselves on success stories like Autumn, honored to play a small role her life-changing journey. With individual perseverance and a strong support system, students succeed at Illinois Central College.

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