50th Stories

Share Your Harper Story

September 11, 2017


For Harper alum Jermaine Pigee, the future was uncertain until he enrolled at Harper College. Learn more about how Jermaine went on to do what nobody thought was possible.

Betty Gialdini

When Betty Giladini approached Harper College's founding president Dr. Lahti about starting a fashion design program, he merely smiled and said "get started." Learn more about Betty's journey and the impact her dedication had on Harper College.

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Harper Alum, Loretta Dreyer, reflects on her time as a student at Harper College and all the good things in her life that followed.

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Abolanle Salami enrolled at Harper College after migrating to the area from Nigeria with her two kids. Here she reflects on the people and resources at Harper that helped her achieve her dream of getting a college degree.

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Harper alum, Adriana Poterash, was able to build the dream life she's always wanted thanks to the education and support of Harper College.

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In his longtime role as Schaumburg's mayor, Al Larson has delivered his share of speeches. Each time, he recalls the words of wisdom handed down years earlier in a Harper College classroom headed by now-retired Instructor John Muchmore.

Dr. Beverly Goodman

As a child, Dr. Beverly Goodman dreamed of being a National Geographic photographer. Instead, as an adult, she's been honored by the publication as an Emerging Explorer - the latest inductee in a family of heroes she grew up idolizing.

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While it was happenstance that brought Charles Cann to Harper College in 2001 - a detour on a leisurely drive while visiting Schaumburg from Ghana - the legacy he left behind was full of purpose, passion and the commitment to succeed.

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Dexter Gardner inspires young people to achieve their best and pursue an education at Harper. While attending Harper, he was president of the Black Student Union and also was instrumental in forming the Harper Gospel Choir club.

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At the tender age of 13, Reveca (Becky) Torres was in an automobile accident and fractured her spinal cord, paralyzing her arms and legs. In 1999, unsure if she could physically pursue her dream career in fashion, she enrolled at Harper.

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Dr. Jaime Quezada dropped out of high school with an uncertain future. The son of Mexican immigrants, Jaime lacked the confidence to pursue better opportunities for himself, but had the dream of becoming a doctor.

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Dr. Meg McEnery-Schnoor’s career as a special education teacher and school administrator began while attending Harper College in 1989. A professor suggested that she consider teaching special education because he felt she had the patience, desire and intelligence to foster learning in special needs populations.

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Shirley Garrison was a college graduate and a recent divorcee when she had an epiphany. "I just thought, 'I'm going to go back to school,'" she says. "I needed to bring my skills up to speed, and what a gift Harper was. Harper gave me that stuff that I needed to say, 'I can accomplish this.'"

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Some of Paolo Cascio’s earliest formative experiences came as a photographer working on Harper College’s student newspaper, The Harbinger.


Professor of Film at Harper College, Mario Contreras, met his wife and discovered his love for film as a student at Harper.


Harper alum, Leslie Van Wolvelear, reflects on how Harper College helped her succeed in both her academic and professional pursuits.

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The road to a college degree isn't always easy but for Harper alum, Kara Zukoski, she found all the help, guidance, and support she needed right here at the college.


James Lathouris is a visually impaired Harper College student who, thanks to the college's Access and Disability Services Program, has been able to pursue his dream of one day working for Microsoft.


Not sure what career path to pursue, Harper College alum, Dan Dinelli, discovered his love for horticulture as a student at Harper.

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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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