“At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go away to school. I wasn’t ready,” says Bryanna Hedrick about her decision to start her college education at Moraine Valley. Once here, she quickly found her place by getting involved in Student Life clubs.

Bryanna says participating in Student Life is important because you meet lots of other students and learn to connect with people from various backgrounds. “Everyone is very welcoming,” she says. “I’m really happy I came to Moraine Valley because I think if I had gone away right away, I wouldn’t have gotten the same opportunities to network and learn about different cultures and different things about people.”

Bryanna served as the president of the Black Student Association and as the club’s Inter Club Council representative. But, she doesn’t limit herself to one club. “I’m involved in quite a few,” she says.

Bryanna was undecided about her future career when she started here. She was considering acting and communications, but since several people in high school told her how hard those fields can be, she was unsure if she should pursue her dream. She says she found three staff mentors who told her, “If you do what you want to do, you can make it. You have to work hard. And that’s what I’ve been doing.” Her hard work paid off, and she was chosen to play the character Laila in the play “American Griot,” which had its world premiere at Moraine Valley.

After her great experience here, Bryanna feels ready to go forward — possibly to Columbia College Chicago or to a college in New York. And she’ll remember what a good decision it was to start at Moraine Valley. “I ended up loving it, honestly,” she says.