Harper Stories

Nancy, a DACA student

Last year, Nancy visited the Harper College Educational Foundation offices with a question. "My tuition is due tomorrow, as is my rent. I can only afford to pay one of the bills. Can you help me?" Nancy, an honors student with only one semester to go before she was eligible to graduate from Harper, was ineligible for federal financial aid because she was an undocumented student. She had applied for scholarships from the Foundation, but given the volume of applications the Foundation receives, had not been chosen to receive one. Nancy was in need of...


Diana Guarneros

When Diana Guarneros thinks of college, she envisions herself in an art studio surrounded by sketchbooks and sculpting tools, working to bring her ideas to life. With her good grades and long list of co-curricular activities, the Elk Grove High School sophomore is doing everything she can to get there. There’s just one problem. “I’ve checked out some schools and they’re pricey,” Diana said. “Attending could be tricky.”


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.


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.


October 11, 2016

Ramiro Daniel Campos Almora

Ramiro “Daniel” Campos Almora has dreams… he wants to be a police officer or maybe a teacher, but first he needs to tackle college – something no one in his family has ever done.


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.


August 22, 2016

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Students show appreciation for those who helped them along the way.


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.


Harper College Apprenticeship

Harper College’s Apprenticeship program is seeking applicants interested in earning a salary while learning the skills for a career and graduating with no debt.


Ethan Kohring

Harper has been fantastic, better than I ever expected.


Amanda Drexler

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


Erich Wenzel

How do you juggle full-time work and full-time studies? Erich Wenzel shares these 3 tips.


Erich Wenzel

I wanted to study engineering while earning a degree that I could put to work right away.


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.


February 11, 2016

 Adam Rothenberg

Unlike many college experiences, mine did not start immediately after high school. I took several years to find my true calling and get into a career I love.