50th Stories

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Harper College alum, Nate Ruben, reflects on the classes and professors that shaped his life and set him on the path for success as an entrepreneur and small business owner.


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Marguerita Whitby, Operations Manager, Liberal Arts at Harper College, opens up about the impact Harper College has had on her life and the lives of her children.


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Former NFL player and 2013 Harper College Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Tim Tyrrell, says Harper College fueled his desire to work hard and never stop learning.


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Michael Nejman, former Director of Student Activities and Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, has seen it all at Harper College. Read on for some of the highlights.


Paul Lebreck

Paul LeBreck reflects on his time as a student at Harper College in the 1970's which eventually led him to a career in criminal justice.


Wali Rizvi

Harper College student Wali Rizvi is still trying to wrap his head around the news he’s been awarded the most prestigious scholarship for community college students in the country. The Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship will award him up to $40,000 per year for up to three years.


February 01, 2017

Zaira Ponce and her son

“Remember, Mom, when you used to work two jobs? Remember how you had to work on Christmas, New Year’s Day and all the other holidays?” Zaira Ponce and her twelve-year-old son talk about how their life used to be and picture how different their future looks now that she is getting her associate degree. It is a future where she is a social worker, helping others, and working in a job that includes benefits. A future where she and her son can spend time together. A future she never imagined possible, but one that is now getting closer and closer because people at Harper believed in her.


Shaheena Lofthus

Shaheena Lofthus, a first year student, lives in Mount Prospect, one of the 23 communities in Harper’s district, and she is thrilled to be at Harper. Shaheena was so eager to begin her college education that she opted to take the GED when she was only 17 years old in order to enter college earlier than if she had followed a traditional high school path. Getting into college, done! Getting to college, not as easy.


January 01, 2017

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Author: 50th | Tags: fifty-story | Read More


Calvin Byrd

Did you know that more than 300 military-connected students (active/reservists, veterans and eligible dependents) are currently enrolled at Harper? One such student is Calvin Byrd.


Emily Kmiecik

Emily Kmiecik is in her second year of Harper’s nursing program, but it hasn’t been an easy road. In fact, she wasn’t initially drawn to nursing, until a fateful day in May 2013.


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Michael Turgeon is an engineer, entrepreneur, financial planner and proud Harper graduate.


September 12, 2016

Brian Nestler

Brian had a very successful career in technology sales —that is until his company relocated out of state. At age 41, Brian found himself unemployed and without a college degree.


Eric Brown

Eric Brown, an adult student from Hanover Park, was inspired to study sign language interpreting after becoming friends with a deaf man at church.


Gabriela Rodriquez

Gabriela Rodriguez’s life changed in a way she could never have imagined.


Alexandra Cardenas 911 Dispatcher, Northwest Central Dispatch System

Thanks to this program, I was able to have certain advantages over other applicants wanting to go into this field.


Amanda Drexler

Throughout her entire education, Amanda Drexler had to be very independent and self-motivated


Ethan Kohring

Harper has been fantastic, better than I ever expected.


Mukila Maitha, assistant professor will accompany a group of Harper College Honors students to Zimbabwe.

A passion to join the Peace Corp, growing up in Mexico, a high school teacher’s advice, a class on East African literature — these different paths helped lead Harper Honors students to a 10-day study abroad trip to Zimbabwe scheduled during spring break.


February 18, 2016

Joseph Rosner

Once hired as a probationary firefighter, I felt confident I would succeed and make it through probation with the foundation my degree provided me.


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