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QCC’s Gateway Graduate finds Gateway to her Future

October, 2017
  • QCC graduate Kelsey Flynn receiving her Women of Distinction award from former QCC President, Dr. Gail Carberry.

At QCC, helping students reach their goals and attain new avenues of success is an integral part of what makes the college special. One program that has become a staple at QCC is the Gateway to College program, which helps students who have dropped out of high school and may not graduate.

Through QCC’s Gateway to College program, students can obtain their high school diplomas and earn college credit at the same time. Students complete an in-depth application process with Gateway to College, including essays, testing, and a personal interview. The three most critical pieces of the application process are the ability to read at the appropriate grade level, the genuine desire to finish high school, and a commitment to the change that will be necessary to be successful college students.

Kelsea Flynn is once such success story. Ms. Flynn had dropped out of high school prior to attending QCC’s program. She began the Gateway to College Program in January 2015, having met all the requirements for admission into the program. Through hard work and determination Ms. Flynn graduated from QCC in May 2016 with highest honors with an Associate Degree in General Studies. Ms. Flynn was one of 23 Gateway to College graduates that year, which was QCC’s second largest graduating class to date.

“Kelsea is extremely driven and aspires to be a human rights lawyer,” said Senior Gateway Outreach Counselor, Jenna Glazer. “She took an extremely rigorous course load at QCC to be able to graduate with her college degree in spring 2016. She took up to 6 classes per semester, as well as summer and intersession courses. She was also honored with a Women of Distinction Award in spring 2016.”

Ms. Flynn took the education and skills she learned at QCC and was able to transfer to Vanderbilt University in fall 2016. She has already had the opportunity to study abroad in China and is involved in numerous clubs and organizations at the university, coupled with her academics.

“I find that classes in college are stimulating and genuinely fun. After years of frustration as I struggled to complete high school - I'm sure a lot of Gateway students can relate - truly enjoying schoolwork is a new (and extremely welcome) feeling,” she said. “I love school and am proud to have transferred from QCC.”

Ms. Flynn stressed using the opportunities you are given and not to be afraid to take a chance.

“When I committed to Vanderbilt, I was terrified. Before Vandy, I only ever imagined myself attending school in the Northeast or living close to home. I never anticipated that I would ever live in the South or somewhere so far away from my family. But I also never expected that I would love it here so much,” she said.