Kelly Union frequently jokes that she was tricked into being an honors student at St. Louis Community College.
Linda Foster is a fighter. Her story is one of courage and perseverance in the face of personal tragedy and hardship. The 62-year-old-STLCC graduate has twice survived cancer, and earned a certificate and a degree during her struggles.
Integrity and service cornerstones of funeral education. William C. Harris Jr. believes that a funeral director should be a community leader. He has dedicated his career to being a strong role model as a north St. Louis County businessman.
“A funeral director is a pillar of the community – he is a person of integrity and decency. Families have always looked to funeral directors to get things done, from helping to bury their loved ones to help with charitable events,” Harris said.
Despite 36 hours on airplanes traveling back from India, Elcee Conner, an associate professor in respiratory therapy and director of clinical education at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, remains enthusiastic about her work helping the world breathe easier. While in New Delhi, she taught an intense eight-hour course called “Managing a Medical Crisis through Simulations” to doctors attending the International Criticare Congress recently.
When Ekaterina “Kate” Leshkova arrived here from Bulgaria nine years ago, all she had was a dream about the opportunities in America. This summer, she will graduate and become a radiologic technologist. Her 33rd birthday just happens to be the same day as graduation – July 15. “It was the greatest decision I ever made in my life, to become a radiologic tech,”
Andrea Nichols, Forest Park’s Teacher of the Year, said she was inspired as a young girl by the iconic World War II image of Rosie the Riveter: “We can do it!” Today, she uses Rosie to inspire a new generation, encouraging her students that they can do anything they set their minds on, in the spirit of “anything’s possible.”
When Cindy Bakalar receives her nursing pin on Dec. 14, it will be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. She returned to school three years ago after dropping out 30 years earlier, as a newlywed who moved out of state with her husband Anthony.
When 39 Radiologic Technology students graduated July 13, they presented associate professor Sally Polta with a big basket of chocolate candy bars, and a T-shirt with “Got Chocolate?” printed on it. As she accepted the gifts with hugs and a big grin, her connection with the students was obvious.
Clark Porter was not always a model citizen but he overcame many hurdles to find himself in a role as a mentor. It's his job to identify needs and connect the people under supervision with the resources they need to make the transition from prison. Sometimes it's classes of one sort or another. Sometimes it's a washing machine.