“Hey, are you the guy on the billboard?”

Yes, he was. Moraine Valley Community College alumnus Steve Henry was literally the poster child for the college during his second year at the college.

With his face plastered on billboards, screensavers, and various other advertising for the college, Henry became a celebrity on campus.

“At first it was a little weird with everyone coming up to me because they recognized me from being the face of the college,” said Henry. “However, it was actually pretty cool because I was proud to represent Moraine Valley.”

Like many high school graduates, Henry decided to enroll at Moraine Valley because he wasn’t sure of a major, and he felt the college would be a good place to explore his options. That, coupled with receiving the Distinguished Scholar scholarship for being in the 10 percent of his graduating class at Oak Lawn Community High School, he was sold on Moraine Valley.

“Not only from a financial standpoint did Moraine Valley make sense but from an academic standpoint since they have excellent teachers and a good students to teacher ratio,” said Henry.

While Henry was at Moraine Valley, he took advantage of the extracurricular activities and played on the college’s soccer team where he was a standout player. He said being involved in sports was a “game changer.”

“I met some of my best friends playing soccer,” said Henry. “We studied together, took classes together, practiced together, and hung out together. Being involved on campus was a great way to meet people.”

In addition to playing soccer, Henry took his Moraine Valley experience a step further and took a student aide job in the college’s marketing department.

“Since I was interested in business and marketing, I wanted to learn more,” said Henry. “I found an opening for a student aide position and had an amazing experience working and learning how a marketing department functioned.”

While Henry gained real-life experience as a student aide, he also got real-world experience through his courses. With many of his professors either working in the field and teaching a course or two as adjuncts, as well as those who worked in the industry first before becoming full-time faculty, Henry felt he learned from the best.

“My professors taught us using situations that are currently happening in the industry, which we all soaked up like sponges,” said Henry. “Knowing that I am learning from experienced teachers makes my Moraine Valley education worth so much more.”

Henry earned his Associate in Arts degree in 2015, and he is currently a full-time student at DePaul University where he’s slated to graduate in May 2017. He also works as an intern at KinderMorgan.

While Henry is unsure of what his future career will be, he hopes to work in real estate. Eventually, he would like to own his own company, but he is keeping his options open.

“Regardless of where my career will take me, I know I got the best start at Moraine Valley,” said Henry. “I was given so many opportunities, and I took advantage of everything they threw at me.”