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Service to Others is a Career Goal for QCC Alumna

March 2021
  • QCC Alumna Felicia Agbanyo
    QCC Alumna Felicia Agbanyo

Service before self seems to be the mantra for alumna Felicia Agbanyo, of Gardner. Ms. Agbanyo graduated from Quinsigamond Community College with an Associate Degree of Liberal Arts, Psychology Option in 2020, and today is attending William James College, a graduate school of psychology located in Newton.

She was recently named a 2020-2021 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Initiative (CAMHI) scholar, at William James and received a $15,000 scholarship, funded by a grant awarded from the Boston Children's Collaboration for Community Health. She also serves on the Council of Inclusive Excellence at William James College and is an active member in the Diversity and Inclusion Council at Seven Hills Foundation, a health and human services agency based in Worcester.

Recently the Wyvern Guardian had an opportunity to speak with Ms. Agbanyo.

Can you describe how you are serving children and families in the Behavioral Health Field?

I currently work with women who have developmental disabilities. In this position, I work collaboratively with the women's families and care team to provide support on their terms while taking into account their cultural needs. 

How did you become interested this field?

I became interested in the field of psychology after the death of two close family members. I was actually attending QCC at the time of their passing. During this period of my life, my family, friends, classmates and professors helped me heal after going an unthinkable loss. After having that experience, I wanted to show others kindness, compassion, and support in the same ways it was shown to me.

Why did you choose to attend QCC?

I chose to attend QCC for many reasons, but the three reasons I initially chose QCC were proximity, cost, and class size. QCC was close by and I lived within 25 minutes of the Worcester campus. QCC was affordable for me, I could go to school and still continue to afford the life I lived. I took advantage of the great financial aid benefits while I attended the College.

Class size was also an important factor for me attending QCC. I wanted to go to a college where I knew my professors and my professors knew me. I think knowing my professors was key in my success. I was able to ask questions about the material in my classes and get direct help and feedback about how I was doing. The professors I had also helped me grow professionally. When I reached out to my past professors at QCC for letters of recommendations, each professor that I reached out to was willing to write one on my behalf. 

What stood out for you during your time at QCC?

Something that stood out for me while attending the College was the supportive environment. There were so many free resources that I used to help me achieve success. Writing has always been a strength of mine, but it was great to know I could go to the Student Writing Center and get feedback on how I could further strengthen my writing. I have always had to work harder in math, and while I was at QCC, I took full advantage of the Student Math Center and free math tutoring that was offered. Many of my professors also counted my seeking out extra help toward my grade in their class. Every professor there wants you to be successful.

I understand you worked full-time while attending QCC. Can you tell me a bit about this, as well as how you balanced both working and college?

I was able to work full-time while attending QCC. As my work schedule and life changed throughout my time attending the College, I was also able to adapt my course schedule. When I worked a second shift (3:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m.) position, I attended school in the morning and afternoons. When my schedule changed to working a first shift (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) schedule, I started taking evening, night, and online courses. I am also a single mom and had to factor in my child's schedule, along with my work and college schedule. I balanced this all by setting up a good schedule for myself, while still being flexible to life's changes. I also made sure I communicated my needs and life changes to my advisors and professors, who were always willing to work with me in order for me to be successful.

What would you tell someone who was considering attending QCC?

I would tell someone who is considering attending QCC to take the steps and just do it. It’s a choice you won’t regret. You do not have to know what your end goal or profession will be to start attending college. I am still not sure what my profession will be even while in my last year of my bachelor's degree, but I do know that I will be successful in whatever I do. QCC has so many resources that are set up for student success. College does take work and effort, but QCC is setup in a way that you will feel supported through your academic journey and if I could do it, you can too!

What are your goals after graduating from William James College?

After graduating from William James College, I want to be of service to people. I am still not sure what career path I will end up in, and that is OK. A large part of my college experience has been learning about the many different career options that are available. I have not let a lack of not knowing my end goal deter me from attending college.