Student Success Corner: Dennis May Jr.
Going to college right after a gap year is hard enough, but imagine taking a 27-year-long gap. That is exactly what Dennis May Jr. did.
May attended WCC in the late 80’s but was focused on money rather than his education. He took odd jobs, such as being an extra in over 30 commercials, instead of focusing on his studies. He then went on to own a few businesses but never finished his education.
When his brother began classes at WCC, May realized that this was something he could do as well.
May met with guidance counselor Noelle Bucci from the Benefits Access Center, who guided him and encouraged him throughout the whole process. She advised him the entire way, giving him the assurance he needed to come back to school so late in the game.
May says he was in Bucci’s office all the time, freaking out about something, but she always calmed him down.
May had some issues to overcome. Initially it was a financial matter, but ultimately it became more about his self-confidence.
“I was older than most of my teachers. It was a very bizarre dynamic,” said May.
He decided that after nearly 30 years of no school, he needed to regain inspiration and excitement for learning, so he decided to take the hardest classes at WCC.
May said that he nearly failed those classes, and that if it wasn’t for the tutorial center on campus he would not have passed them.
“The tutorial center here saved my life. I was in the tutorial center every day. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have passed and I might not have continued. That probably was the reason I stayed in school and why I am here today,” said May.
May took inspiration from his professors and guidance counselors to become a teacher.
“Coming back here changed my whole life around. It gave me a goal,” May said.
May graduated from WCC in 2014 with a liberal arts degree and then received a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Concordia. He has begun his master’s program for teaching.
May was on the President’s list at WCC for three years and on the Dean’s list at Concordia, also being elected into the national honors society.
“I am one of WCC’s biggest supporters and best marketers. From the day I set foot on this campus I just felt at home,” said May.
According to May, the resources WCC has to offer are what allowed him to achieve so much. He advises students to take advantage of the “user-friendly” resources that are available for free such as Benefits Access Center, counselors, professors, and the tutorial centers, all in place to help students achieve their goals.