Shreeyam Mishra

"Step out of your comfort zone, because here you have people who will hold you when you fall. Sometimes it's necessary to do it wrong in order to get it right."

Shreeyam Mishra, an international student from India, is pursuing a double major at Harford Community College: AS degrees in Nursing and Computer Science. She arrived in December 2018 with an F-1 student visa and began her studies at HCC in spring 2019.

Although she had originally planned to attend a university, Shreeyam considers her decision to enroll at a community college her best decision ever. Harford not only gives her the whole university vibe, but she said it also feels like family. "At HCC, it feels like you’re with a small family where everyone knows each other and is always ready to provide you with help and push you toward your goal."

Shreeyam is a member of the My College Success Network (MCSN), a program that is designed to empower and support students of color at Harford Community College. All students, regardless of ethnicity, are welcome to participate. Academic Success Coach Jenny Jakulin is always welcoming, and Shreeyam says it feels great to have someone to talk to about everything in her life. “She keeps an eye on my academic progress and also suggests new ways to lower my stress or enhance my performance.” At the MCSN end-of-the-semester celebration, Shreeyam spoke about how much she loves being a Harford student.

She highly recommends Harford because it provides an affordable education and offers so many opportunities to help students develop, not only academically but also individually. She said the College helps students realize and work with their strengths and weaknesses. She is surprised by how much she has been able to achieve in such a short time. "HCC has helped me fill my bucket list and even more than that."

She also appreciates the guidance she receives from her academic advisor, Jeanne Goss. "She's always there to talk about my classes and how my semester is going, along with any obstacles I’m facing."

Working as a student orientation leader on campus helped her to gain confidence and taught her so many things. Shreeyam says the experience made her a new person: "From a shy ghost girl, I became the sassy confident Shreeyam. It connected me to so many people on campus with whom I would've been too scared to speak." She also works in the Office of Student Life and appreciates the support she's received from all of her "bosses" there – Dr. Griselda Flores, Caitlin White, Sharoll Love, Jo Chase and Laura Burke. "Working here has taught me small to big things every day, from organizing the speaker’s event to the large Owl Fest."

In addition to her other activities, she serves as President of the Do Good Club, Vice President of Public Relations for the Rho Beta Chapter of the PTK Honor Society, and is a member of the Student Government Association. She is a peer educator for Student Intervention Services, a student representative for the Middle States Self-Study Working Groups, and a student representative on the Academic Technology Advisory Committee. In addition, she is a member of PSI Beta National Honor Society that recognizes academic achievement among students in the field of Psychology at two-year colleges.

She recently had the opportunity to travel to Annapolis with students and staff to represent HCC at Student Advocacy Day. At the event, 300+ students from community colleges around the state came together to advocate for more robust state fiscal support of Maryland's community colleges.

Her advice to other students? "Don’t be afraid to just step up and do it – because 10 years from now, you'll be disappointed remembering the little things you didn't do just because of that little fear inside you. Step out of your comfort zone, because here you have people who will hold you when you fall. Sometimes it's necessary to do it wrong in order to get it right."

She added, "The road to success is not a highway. You have to create it as you go, and that's where HCC is going to be your ally, your partner and your backbone."

After she graduates from Harford next year, Shreeyam plans to transfer to Towson University to pursue bachelor's degrees in Nursing and Computer Science. She hopes to pursue a career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in the future.