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Student Success: Happiness in Music

Mina (Vogel) McIntire has always had a passion for music ever since she can remember. At an early age, her grandmother helped influence that passion by taking her along to local concerts, where she would play the accordion and Mina would sing.

“My grandmother had a big influence on me. She would take me to the German-American hall or nursing homes and bring her accordion and I would stand next to her and sing my songs.”

It was through music that Mina found her happiness and her strength.

“Through all my hardships, music has been there. I could always rely on it to distract and comfort me.”

Those hardships came early for Mina when dealing with the tragic loss of her mother.

“I was 16 years old when my mother passed away, and I was still taking it all in… I was trying to take care of myself.”

“I thought it was just going to be a good transition school, but honestly it’s been more important to me than that. It’s been the most pivotal experience in my education. ICC has allowed me to get a college degree and achieve what I’ve always wanted to achieve – a chance.”

Forced to grow up fast and without a maternal support system, Mina was struggling with the idea of going to college.

“I knew what I wanted to do, but I just didn’t have the money.”

Then Mina met ICC Associate Professor Julie Clemens while performing in a master class in high school. Julie took an interest in Mina after hearing her sing and became a mentor. Through Julie’s mentorship, Mina began to set her sights on ICC.

“I knew ICC was a great school because I knew the teachers. I have friends at different music schools around here, and the music program at ICC goes so much faster and deeper than other schools. Everything works so well together, too, because you’ll go from music theory to musicianship and then piano class, and they all align with each other weekly… It’s perfect.”

Mina credits Julie for being her mentor and stepping in as a mother figure of sorts.

“When you don’t have parents and you’re in college it’s kind of freaky. I just lost my mom and needed someone to cling onto, and Julie has done nothing but help me. She prepared me for so much.”

Now Mina is an ICC graduate and the first in her family to earn a college degree. She will be transferring to Illinois Wesleyan in the Fall with a full ride and all thanks to the support she got at ICC.

“I thought it was just going to be a good transition school, but honestly it’s been more important to me than that. It’s been the most pivotal experience in my education. ICC has allowed me to get a college degree and achieve what I’ve always wanted to achieve – a chance.”

ICC ended up being Mina’s Smart Choice. Find what you love and make Your Smart Choice today!