Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Contest rewards MCC students’ dreams (2020)

Montcalm Community College is helping students express and achieve their dreams. Six students were honored April 19 for their essays in MCC’s “Dreamin’s Free” contest.

The winning essay was written by Emily Boley, of Fenwick. She received a $250 cash prize. The runners up were Brooke Dimond, of Greenville, and Dawson Mallay, of Vestaburg. They each received a $125 cash prize.

Honorable mentions were awarded to Emma Skogseth, of Greenville, Megan Baird, of Howard City, and Dezirae Lincoln, of Greenville.

“This year, the essay contest focused on how achieving dreams could help others, and every essay did that to some degree. It was idealistic, but very encouraging,” said Michelle Gibson, MCC biology instructor and contest founder.

Gibson established “Dreamin’s Free” in 2011 to help students identify their dreams and plan the steps necessary to achieve them. She was inspired by the encouragement she received from her family since childhood to have dreams and to pursue them. The essay contest challenged students to share their dreams and how the college is helping them achieve those dreams. The contest was sponsored by Marty Mater.

In her essay, Boley said her dream is to be a psychologist.

“It’s not exactly the job a ton of people are rushing toward, but for the past four years, my heart has been yearning to go into a profession that allows me to help others,” she wrote.

She shared how one psychology textbook captivated her curiosity and sparked a dream.

“I had done research before on anxiety and depression, but there was so much that I didn’t know,” she wrote. “I ate it up. The feelings I had and the nervousness I got finally made more sense to me. The relief and comfort I received from knowing about disorders is a sensation that nothing else could replicate. I knew that I wanted to help others to feel the same way I did when everything came together.”

Boley described how she wants to help others through the example of someone having an ever-present sliver.

“Having it there has hindered you from doing things that maybe you would do without it (why would you want to pick something up when you know that it’d drive the sliver in further?). The wound may become infected, so eventually, you want to remove it. I’m the one who will have the tweezers and Band-Aids ready for those who want the slivers in their minds removed,” she wrote.

In her essay, Dimond shared her dream of becoming a medical assistant.

She wrote about suffering from a genetic disorder, which “made the traditional school schedule difficult for me to keep up with physically, and it caused some learning problems.

“In the past, teachers had made me feel that my medical condition was something I had to overcome if I were ever to succeed in college,” she wrote. “On the contrary, the teachers and counselors at MCC taught me to view my experience as an asset. They recommended that I choose a career in the medical field because my health condition could help me to relate to patients. Viewing my situation this way helped me to see that I did have something unique and valuable to offer. There were others facing the same problems I had, and with the right training, I could help them.”

In his essay, Mallay shared how daydreaming, sleep and resting easy is important to pursuing dreams. He plans to become an actuary.

“If I can help others, even a little, to improve their choices and increase the confidence they have in their decisions, then I will have succeeded in my goals,” he wrote. “I’ll have helped others to rest easy, removing some of the uncertainty that clouds our mind’s eye so that they, in turn, can focus more attention on their dreams, which may yet pay itself forward, onward and upward, growing the dreams of thousands in the here and now, and more in years to come.”

Other entrants included Logan Kimball, of Blanchard; Regan Western, of Carson City; Paige Fisher, of Cedar Springs; Wyatt Plavan, of Fenwick; Heather Lake, of Greenville; Tricia Slavens, of Howard City; Samantha Hall, of Lakeview; Autumn Skinner, of Remus; Stephanie Mendoza, of Sand Lake; Molly Wierenga, of Sheridan; Jacquelyn Joseph, of Sidney; and Sydney Eedy, Samantha Frost and Mikayla Vestergaard, all of Stanton.

MCC students who attended campus events throughout the 2017-2018 school year were given a chance to enter into the “Dreamin’s Free” raffle and win Meijer gift cards.

To read the winning essays, visit