Octavia Tate: Club leadership led to small business ownership

  • Tags: Achievements | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 05/12/2020
Octavia Tate, class of 2020

Octavia Tate, class of 2020

As I sit and reflect on my journey at Elgin Community College, it brings lots of joy, tears, and happiness. Going to college ten years after graduating high school was a struggle for me. I received my CNA certificate in high school and was content working in healthcare for a time. My mindset changed as my responsibilities grew, and I knew I could be more. Enrolling at ECC was the beginning of a life-changing event.

ECC allowed me to accomplish personal goals, reach milestones, and excel academically. As a single parent, I struggled with the stigma of not having a career nor finishing college while raising a child at the same time. I’ve managed to surpass many goals by always putting God first, receiving support from family, and faculty members who encourage me along the way.

Aside from my classes, I spent most of my time on campus participating in club events and fellowship with my classmates, who were just as eager as I was to succeed. I had the honor of being club president for Spartan Project (student entrepreneurship club) under the leadership of Susan Timm, who has always gone above and beyond to ensure her students’ success. Her guidance and support allowed me to thrive as a leader, and I was awarded the leadership plaque for our student club at the Student Life Gala. Professors Joyce Fountain, Clark Hallpike, and Glen Earl also contributed to my success.

ECC allowed me to be more independent, confident, and eager to take on risks. I will be the first in my immediate family to receive a college degree, and I am now a small business owner of a non-medical home care agency. I encourage all future graduates to work hard and never give up despite any obstacles that might get in the way. The sky's the limit, and anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

To my fellow 2020 ECC graduates: We did it, despite the pandemic and having to transition to e-learning!


Octavia Tate ‘20
Associate in Arts
Elgin, IL