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2023 - Ariana Marchan: ECC helped me balance school and athletics, preparing me for my future

Tags: Commencement | Graduation Essays
Published 05/18/2023
Elgin Community College Spring 2023 graduate Ariana Marchan

Elgin Community College Spring 2023 graduate Ariana Marchan

On my first attempt at college, I went away to school, as most 18-year-olds leaving high school wanted to do. I quickly realized it wasn’t for me, and when I moved back home, I enrolled at Elgin Community College. I was excited; I felt better being back at home with my family, and at ECC, I was awarded a scholarship to play for the women’s basketball team – a sport I absolutely love.

At ECC, I enrolled in the paralegal program, and my athletic scholarship paid for my tuition, allowing me to focus on my classes and my team. I always had an interest in the legal field, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2020, with the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, that my interest in working in the legal field shifted to focus on criminal defense and civil rights. I really want to be a lawyer, and I knew that the paralegal program would be a good first step and give me the experience I needed to be ready when I made the bigger move toward law school.

Every class I took at ECC helped shape my perspective on our world and legal system. The paralegal program director, Laura Haske, took the time to help me balance school and basketball, including finding a flexible internship that worked with my athletics schedule. I was also able to work with Mia Hardy through Spartan Women Achieving Greatness (SWAG), doing qualitative research and presenting it to others, which will help me in the future as I research cases and prepare arguments for trials.

I have always been passionate about making a difference, and I want to use the legal system to make an impact on the world. Thanks to my time at ECC, I am on a solid path towards my goals.

Ariana Marchan, Elgin
Basic Vocational Certificate - Paralegal
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