For Austin Community College (ACC) student Mical Juliet Divine, leaving a positive impact on her community is more than just a hope.
"Looking at the current state of the world, I am not happy about it. I didn't just want to sit around and complain, so I am staying busy looking for solutions that could better serve our community."
Mical Juliet will earn her Associate of Arts in Government in May 2020 –– an achievement that, at one time, seemed like it wasn't going to happen.
"I was on the path to graduate high school early. I was taking dual credit courses at the South Austin Campus when I emancipated myself at 16. That's when my health took a downturn. I was working two jobs, going to school full time, and just not eating enough. I went into kidney failure and had to drop out."
After recovering, she attempted to return to the classroom two more times before earning her GED and enrolling at ACC in 2017.
"There are tons of resources at your fingertips, compared to the four-year colleges I attended. Having access to support, be it mental wellness, counseling, tutoring, or academic coaching is immeasurable to other community colleges by far."
Connecting with those resources inspired her to develop ‘Adulting 101 at ACC’ –– an event that provides students and the community hands-on workshops to learn skills they need to be successful inside and beyond the classroom.
"Getting a degree isn't as easy as showing up to class and taking tests. After spending time at the State Capitol and lobbying for change, I came up with a curriculum for basic life skills. I thought ‘If I can find a way to connect students to resources outside of the classroom, we can build retention rates and support individual success and growth."
Adulting 101 includes workshops on career exploration, college planning, financial planning, healthy living, and getting career-ready. The inaugural event will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 3, at ACC Eastview Campus (3401 Webberville Rd.).
"Her passionate approach to surveying her peers (our students) about their gaps in successfully navigating the adult world and then creating an opportunity, through this event, to access resources for our faculty, staff, students, and community uplifts all of us," says Loretta Edelen, ACC Community Engagement director. "Her tireless work helps us address our students' and community's needs beyond the classroom as they prepare to be successful adults."
"ACC has stood behind its slogan that school and college are for everyone. That inspired me to show students and the community no matter who you are or where you are from, there is always an opportunity to learn something new," says Mical Juliet.
For more information about Adulting 101, and to register, visit austincc.edu/adulting101.