Kevin Tran, 20, always knew he wanted to attend Mesa Community College after graduating from Westwood High School because he liked smaller classes, reasonable tuition and the close location. When his high school counselor told him he qualified for Mesa College Promise, in which his tuition fees were fully funded, he was sure he'd made the right decision.
"Maria Dawes, the Mesa College Promise Program Coordinator, let me know about the opportunities available through the program," Tran said. "I went to an orientation and got to know other students who were in the program. It provided me with an easy transition from high school to college."
Tran said he also felt fortunate he was able to meet First Lady Jill Biden when she visited MCC to recognize the Mesa College Promise Program.
"It was a nice, surreal experience," Tran said. "A bit nerve wracking, but I'm sure I'll be talking about it the rest of my life. I had her shake my hand not once, but twice!"
This spring he will graduate with an Associate in Business, Special Requirements and plans to to pursue a bachelor's degree in business and computer information systems (CIS at Arizona State University). Tran said he enjoyed the CIS classes and would like to take more at MCC. He knows the degree he's earning will provide him with the skills to work at excellent organizations and earn a good wage.
While at MCC, Tran took advantage of tutoring from professors when needed and paid special attention to his schedule so he was not overloaded. He has also participated in volunteer work, packing hundreds of hygiene bags for the homeless.
"It's been fun, not much pressure and MCC has a friendly atmosphere, with a campus similar to high school," he said.
Tran is responsible for picking up his eight-year-old sister from school most days. He emphasizes the importance of education and tells her she should attend college, preferably MCC. He recommends MCC to other students as well.
"I will miss MCC a bit, it's been a nice experience and if it's possible I'll continue to take classes here,” Tran said. “I'd tell other high school students to work with a counselor and see if they qualify for Mesa College Promise. It's been a great help."