HCC Success Stories

The Wilcoxes are a perfect example of a family utilizing Harford Community College's many resources and opportunities to the fullest. This "party of five," Erin, Marissa, Jesse, Krista, and Gianna, had already earned college credits as dually enrolled students prior to graduating from high school. They then took advantage of scholarships, the mentorship of many fine professors and administrators through the years, involvement in student organizations and alternative spring breaks, and various leadership opportunities. Their studies were as varied as they themselves are – from music and education to engineering and communications studies.

The Wilcoxes originally lived in New Jersey, moved to Baltimore County in 1987, and have resided in Harford County since 1998. Each of their five children was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school. Harford was the perfect choice – each was dually enrolled by his or her junior/senior year of high school, thereby accruing college credits along with their high school credits. The small class sizes, accessibility to professors, and excellent instruction gave the Wilcox children the opportunity to thrive.

Equally important was the affordability of a college education at HCC. The Wilcoxes took advantage of the many scholarship opportunities offered by the College. A presidential grant offered a reduced tuition rate while they were dually enrolled. Plus, each of the Wilcoxes worked hard with an eye toward earning academic scholarships to avoid being saddled with debt. Their hard work paid off – each was awarded the Alfred C. O'Connell Honors Scholarship, offering two years of tuition-free studies.

Another key to the Wilcoxes' success at HCC was their involvement in student life and service. Erin was the official music tutor during her tenure at HCC and worked in the writing lab. Jesse, an engineering major, tutored in the math lab. Erin, Marissa, Jesse, and Krista were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Krista, who completed the HCC Honors Program, was an enhanced PTK member and served as the Rho Beta Chapter Administrative Vice President. Krista also served as a senator in the Student Government Association. Gianna now serves as the newly-elected secretary and public relations director for the Honors Program. Krista participated in HCC's Alternative Winter Break in Key West and served as student trip leader, as well as the College's Alternative Summer Break in Italy, working with children in need of specialized medical treatment, housing and support in Rome. In addition, Krista completed all the requirements to complete HCC's Emerging Leaders Certificate. Erin, Marissa, Jesse, and Krista were consistently named to the President's List recognizing academic excellence.

Mom Evelyn Wilcox says, "I witnessed my children grow in leadership skills through their experiences at HCC. They developed confidence and a desire to serve their communities. Their service work and trips helped to develop interpersonal social skills and teamwork."

The Wilcox's hard work and determination also paid off in the form of various awards. Erin won the President Chiesi Award for excellence in the performing arts. She and Marissa also received the HCC Academic Achievement Award. Marissa also received the Maryland Association of Teacher Educators Award in recognition of outstanding performance as a distinguished teacher candidate from Harford Community College. Both Erin and Marissa received Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships when they pursued their studies at Towson University. Krista was selected to the 2019 All-Maryland Academic First Team in recognition of scholarly achievements of students enrolled in Maryland's Community & Junior Colleges and also received a Harford Alumni Association Transfer Scholarship. These scholarships enabled the Wilcoxes to continue their college education beyond HCC and to focus their attention on their studies without being concerned about debt.

Says Evelyn Wilcox, "Because of their excellent experience at HCC, they went on to pursue the next step in their academic careers. They were well-prepared and on par with their classmates. They would testify that they received a quality education from Harford Community College."

What are they all doing now? Erin, the eldest of the Wilcox children, is a busy mother of three. She has taught private piano lessons and serves on the worship team at her church. She uses her talents to serve others and is passing her passion for music on to her children while homeschooling them.

Marissa is also a busy mom of three children. She taught fourth grade at a private school and now homeschools her children. In addition, she finds great satisfaction teaching English to students in China via the internet.

Son Jesse enjoys working as an electrical/systems engineer for Textron.

Krista transferred to University of Maryland, College Park this fall to pursue studies in Communications and Arabic. She hopes to work for the National Security Agency as an analyst.

And lastly, Gianna began her full-time status as a proud Harford Community College student in the fall 2019 semester.

A final word from the Wilcox parents: "Our family is indebted to Harford Community College. My husband and I are HCC’s biggest cheerleaders! Our children received a quality education at an affordable cost. The professors and administration are outstanding and go above and beyond time spent in the classroom."

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