Page Header

Student Stories

The College Foundation Student Stories

My name is Jordan Blizzard. I am 28 years old and I’m a general education major here at Calhoun.

I want to tell you how important Calhoun is to me.

I was homeless as a teenager.

And I endured multiple such hardships. I was homeless at 16 due to a malevolent household and upbringing. I slept from couch to couch wherever I could and slipped further and further into an unstructured life that could be destined only for failure…mediocrity at best.

I lost my father when I was nine and with him any sense of what a parent should be. So I raised myself. I did the best I could with what I was given, but I knew I was meant for more. I knew my Dad wanted more for me as well. So I started studying for my GED at the Fletcher Seldon Center (I had dropped out of high school because I didn’t have a way to get there) I got rides when I could but mostly I walked. And I’m very proud to tell you that I received my GED on the very same day that I would have graduated from high school.

When I enrolled at Calhoun, I had nothing. When I registered, I showed up with all that I had in the world, the clothes on my back and the determination in my soul. That’s all I owned—who I was and what I wore. I lost my father when I was a young.  I crashed with friends and moved from place to place and made enough money to eat by working here and there. But in my heart I knew that I was meant for better. I knew my dad wanted me to be a great man—and I knew I could be.

And Calhoun was proud for me. I needed a place to be. I needed people who believed in me. And I’ve found that again and again at Calhoun. I’ve finished more than 65 hours at Calhoun. I’ve been voted president of SGA for the Huntsville Campus, and I’ve been awarded the Russell L. Smith Memorial scholarship. And I plan to graduate in May and go on to George University and eventually get my masters degree in History. And some day I’m going to be a teacher. I might even teach here. But I’m going to be there for other young people like Calhoun was for me.

So I want you to know what I know about this college. Calhoun is more than a school to me. Calhoun has been my salvation.

My name is Rebecca Kaeo. I am 19 years old and right now I’m a general education major here at Calhoun.

I want to tell you how important Calhoun is to me.

I want to be a doctor.

My plans are to complete my first two years of college at Calhoun and then go on to the University of Alabama in Birmingham or the University of Southern California where I plan to major in biology. From there I’ll move to medical school where I’ll study to become an emergency room physician.

I need good grades to prove I’m a worthy candidate for medical school. So I want to be here--where I know I matter; learning from instructors interested in me and my personal goals. I can’t afford to get lost in crowded classrooms. And I didn’t want my teachers to be graduate students. My parents are huge Calhoun fans. They believed that if I started here I would have smaller classes, more instructional time, and build valuable relationships with teachers interested in helping me get a rock solid start.

As you can see, I have a long road ahead of me and a lot of coursework to complete. And I don’t have one GPA point or one precious penny to waste. But I can tell you that I know I’ve already made the right choice in starting here. Calhoun is my launch pad.

My name is Felipe Tirado-Zagal. I am 21 years old and I’m majoring in electrical technologies.

I want to tell you how important Calhoun is to me.

My family moved to Decatur when I was two years old. I graduated from Decatur High School and enrolled at Calhoun immediately afterwards.

I’m the first in my family to get to go to college. And I really needed to come to Calhoun because it’s close to home and low cost. But location and price don’t mean anything if you can’t get a degree in a field that matters to good employers. So I want you to know how much it meant to me and my family to know that Calhoun has a good reputation for technology degrees and that the local companies hire Calhoun graduates. I wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t the case.

I already have a job. I work at Publix Grocery to help pay my college expenses. And I don’t have time or money to waste on getting an education that won’t improve upon what I’ve already have. I need a college that will help me figure out how to make a better life for myself—and I found that and more at Calhoun. After I completed my basic requirements, I was not really sure what to major in. But then the College made this big announcement about “going green” and offering classes in renewable energy…and so I thought I would look into it. I met with an advisor that got me really excited about the program. I was encouraged to apply for one of the Clean Energy Technology scholarships—and I got it! And everything is just falling into place for me here at Calhoun.

I have a plan, I have a scholarship, I have a co-op job at 3M, and I’m getting a degree that I’m very excited about and very proud of….in what I believe will be a high demand field. I really do feel like I will be an important part of our country’s future.

So I’ll tell you what I know about Calhoun, Calhoun has been my inspiration.