From a young age, Cara Killackey was comfortable being on the campus of Moraine Valley Community College.

Killackey attended the college for the first time at age 2 when her mom enrolled her in the on-campus Children’s Learning Center. She fondly remembers her early days learning and playing.

“I loved going to preschool at Moraine Valley; it was my school,” said Killackey. “I remember crying when I aged out of preschool, and I had to attend my local elementary school. I didn’t want to leave— I loved Moraine Valley that much.”

Little did she know that she would return to Moraine Valley again 13 years later to begin her college career.

Killackey might have chosen to attend Moraine Valley for the affordability and convenience of it, but one more deciding factor—her mother, Jayne, was still an employee at the college.

“It made perfect sense to attend Moraine Valley because it was a place I was comfortable going to, plus they had excellent professors and the classes I needed for my major to transfer,” Killackey said.

Killackey, who had her sights set on being a teacher, took general education requirements and early childhood education classes.

“I loved every minute at Moraine Valley,” said Killackey. “I learned so much from my professors, and they did a good job to set the foundation for my college career.”

After she graduated from Moraine Valley in 2013, she enrolled in Saint Xavier University (SXU), on the Dr. Vernon O. Crawley Scholarship.

was an honor to receive such a prestigious scholarship to continue my education,” said Killackey.

In addition to being a full-time student at Saint Xavier, she became an employee of the Children Learning Center—truly coming full circle on her Moraine Valley experience.

“It was so fun working alongside many of the same teachers I had when I was little,” said Killackey. “I loved working with preschool children, and I learned so much from the experience.”

In 2015, Killackey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Following her graduation, she landed her first full-time teaching position at a Catholic school in Chicago, teaching math to 7th and 8th graders.

“I am living my dream of being a teacher, and I have my Moraine Valley experience to thank for getting me there,” said Killackey.

Even though she is enjoying being a teacher to elementary school children, she hasn’t ruled out that one day she will pursue another degree so she could teach at Moraine Valley.

“I love Moraine Valley and all the opportunities it is has afforded me,” said Killackey. “I think it would be amazing to impact future teachers. You never know what the future holds.”