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Local College Professor Makes Profound Impact on My Life… The Importance of Community Colleges

I attended one of the top 200 public schools in the Nation according to a Newsweek article from a few years back.

I was one of those kids that really wasn’t that motivated in high school and pretty much attended school so that I could play sports and socialize with my friends.

I didn’t really think about attending college after High School because at the time, I didn’t really know much about financial aid and I was still getting on my feet after moving out of my mom’s house and trying to live independently.

After bouncing around many jobs, my mom got an opportunity to move to Hawaii and left me behind in the mainland.  I bounced from job to job for a few years, before my mom finally gave me an opportunity to go back to college, however, this time it was going to be a fresh start in life here in Hawaii.

I wasn’t able to get into UH Hilo directly with an application, because they required the SAT scores and all the other BS that was required to get into a 4 year institution.  I don’t even think I had the GPA out of High School that would have been required of me.

I did have this option though, my mother was working at Hawaii Community College, and part of her benefits were that children could attend HawCC.  I was fortunate that I got two years paid at HawCC through my mom’s job.

The important thing that happened to me at HawCC, is that I took a class called Sociology 100 with Noellie Rodrigues.  The things that I learned about life in general from this class and her teaching methods in general inspired me that first semester at HawCC to really try my best in college.  Still to this day I can recall this “M&M Candy” game that she pretty much invented and used at other conferences that she had attended.  I took two more classes from her and learned much each time.

I actually was inspired enough to begin writing for the school paper, as well as being inspired to run for a Student Government spot on the Associated Student Body.  I was fortunate enough to get enough votes to be elected as a Student Senator for the school in which I learned so many lessons.

Because of these experiences at HawCC, I was inspired even more to go onto UH Manoa where I pretty much zoomed through my degree program in two years while receiving a 3.8 gpa in my major.

I attribute most of this because of the inspiration that Ms. Noellie Rodrigues gave me.  There were other teachers and counselors as well.  Barbara Arthurs hired me as her student assistant for the “Kokua” program, Professor John Marlow inspired me into public speeking with his speech classes.  Trina Nahm-Mijo taught me a lot about psychology.  As you can see, I didn’t learn much about Grammar or English Skills… but that’s ok.

Why I feel so inspired to write this now… Is because I was thinking back to my college time, and although I spent almost equal time between UH Manoa and HawCC, it was the professors at HawCC that I remember best more then a decade later.

If you ever have the chance to say thanks to a Professor at a local Community College… do so.

Thank you Noellie Rodrigues!

One Response

  1. Here here! I met Noellie a couple days ago.
    There’s such a need to spread the word of what’s going on. Hip hip hooray

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