Guest Blogger Charmaine Nichols Reflects on the Alumni Classes

After graduating from Free Minds in the spring of 2009 I knew that continuing my education was not just a dream anymore; it was now my reality. While selecting my courses to attend ACC in the fall I received an e-mail addressed to Free Minds alumni (that would be me) offering advanced courses for alumni only. Wow! I was so excited to see that I had another opportunity to continue working with other Free Minds graduates and to broaden and deepen the intellectual community I had formed the previous year. My expectations for these classes only intensified as the courses went on. I saw live performances (Measure for Measure), read fantastic books (Outliers), meet intriguing people (Joe Feagin) and earned ACC credits at the same time.

In Intro to Theater with Marcus McQuirter in the fall, we were told to visualize ourselves five years from now and create monologues for a full stage production. This project was amazing to put together! It was not hard to visualize myself walking across the stage at ACC with my degree in Business Administration. In my piece I incorporated my love for Michael Jackson, clubbing with friends, dressing up, my family, and the performing skills taught in class. My daughters were also very much a part of my inspiration. Shantice, a 2009 high school graduate, and Briana, a 2010 high school graduate, helped me with homework and encouraged me to go to class and do my best. I could not ask for a better support team than my girls, family, and close friends that came out to see the performance.

Intro to Sociology, taught by Dr. Jerry Shepperd in the spring, also helped broaden and deepen my intellect concerning political, racial and world views. It taught me how to voice my opinions about these issues but also listen to the voices of others. You never knew what topic would come up on any given night; interacting in a seminar environment with such a diverse group of individuals made Sociology class lively and interesting.

If school could have been like this from middle school through high school, learning would have been fantastic for me. People always say to me that it is never too late to get an education; with Free Minds I now know this is true.

Charmaine Nichols (Free Minds ’09) is registering for fall classes at ACC to continue studying for her Business Administration degree.

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