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Wildwood Campus

STLCC Provides Student with a Fresh Start for Success

For John Prunty, St. Louis Community College (STLCC) provided a clean slate and an opportunity to put his educational pursuits back on track. Despite struggling to make meaningful connections with his courses and teachers in high school, his experience at STLCC was vastly different.

"STLCC gave me a fresh start," Prunty said. "I was able to overcome the challenges I experienced in high school by focusing on my coursework, building relationships with my professors, and getting involved with the campus community."

Prunty's first experience at STLCC was in 2011 when he took a dual enrollment course at STLCC at Wildwood. At the time, his plan was to "test drive" college to see whether or not he could succeed in the new atmosphere. Psychology Professor Dorothy Welty, who taught Prunty his first semester, said he inspired her and reminded her that even the smallest encouragement can make a difference.

"John arrived in my class with a genuine interest in learning and great respect for the college classroom," Welty said. "As I got to know John, I was surprised to discover that he had not always had a positive educational experience before coming to STLCC. Nevertheless, it was obvious to me that he had what it takes to succeed in college, and I did all I could to send him that message throughout the semester."

The next term, Prunty returned to STLCC for another course. Eventually, he went on to complete his GED while taking courses at STLCC's Wildwood and Meramec campuses. Although the courses were intense and he had to buckle down to make good grades, the experience paid off. 

In 2015, after successfully completing his general education courses, Prunty transferred to the University of Missouri, Columbia to pursue a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences.

"I've learned that if you decide to follow a path you love, then you need to commit yourself to making it happen," Prunty said. "Ever since I was a child, I have loved nature. My experience at STLCC enabled me to identify my pathway and set my sights on a career in fishery and wildlife management. After I earn my bachelor's degree, my plan is to work for the Department of Natural Resources, rearing and raising fish."

With his general transfer courses under his belt, Prunty acknowledged the people who helped support him along the way. "My dad was instrumental in encouraging me to achieve my goals," Prunty said. "I also appreciate the support I received from my professors. I am prepared and ready to take this next step in my education, and I know this opportunity would not have been possible for me had I not started at STLCC."