Equity in Action

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photo of Alexis Oakley

Find, Create, and Explore

By: Alexis Oakley, ACT Scholar, University of Iowa Ph.D. student

I am currently in the educational measurement and statistics program in the Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations in the College of Education. I recently finished my  Master of Arts in May and am currently working on my Ph.D. 


photo of John Fan

Ask Your Professors For Help

By: John Fan, Kirkwood Community College student and ACT Scholar

More than a decade ago, as part of ACT’s 50th anniversary celebration, ACT established the ACT Scholars Program, as part of a pair of endowments to

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photo of Marcus Glover

Exercise Self-Discipline

By: Marcus Glover, ACT Scholar and Kirkwood Community College student

I am an African American student who attends Kirkwood Community College. I am from Chicago, where I went back and forth from my mom and my dad’s house, both being single parents. I am not a first-generation college student, as both my mother and father have graduated from college.


photo of Ciara Ford

I Want to Be Part of That Team

By: Ciara Ford, ACT Scholar and Kirkwood Community College student

My motivation for going to college and earning a degree was a better life for myself. I wanted personal growth and to gain the skills necessary to help others along their journey as well.


photo of Juanito Piper

When Faced with Difficulties, It Brings Out the Kind of Person You Truly Are

By: Juanito Piper, ACT Scholar and Kirkwood Community College student

I started working labor jobs young to earn money and doing so helped guide my values and gain a respect for every type of job out there. I just personally sat back and evaluated my future and didn’t want to work a manual labor job the rest of my life.


photo of Fatima Lopez

Stay Disciplined

By: Fatima Lopez, ACT Scholar and Kirkwood Community College student

The biggest challenge I experienced being a first-generation college student was the lack of financial support. Our family comes from a humble living, and I am trying to support myself while attending classes. Since my mother and siblings could not attend college, I did not have the knowledge or the experience to navigate applying to get into college. I also did not know the resources and support teams available to me.


White male in button up shirt, standing in front of a bookcase

Unfinished College Applications: The Importance of Planning

By: Bryan Contreras, vice president education partnerships, Encoura

There is a sprint every fall semester. It’s not at the cross-country meet beneath a beautiful canopy of fall foliage, nor is it an athletic sprint on one of the many playing fields as fall winds turn to a cold winter blue. It’s the college application sprint to meet early decisions and priority deadlines.


photo of Lauryn Lovett

Explore All Your Options

By: Lauryn Lovett, ACT summer communications intern

One of best things that you can do is apply for anything and everything you have an interest in. I am not the best writer, and I don’t feel like I had all the skills listed for my internship position, but I was interested in developing those skills, so I applied. If I only applied for roles that I had all the skills for, I would be overqualified and leave no room for myself to develop my skills and abilities.


photo of Nelson Rhomberg

Hard Work Pays Off

By: Nelson Rhomberg, ACT Scholar and Kirkwood Community College student

More than a decade ago, as part of ACT’s 50th anniversary celebration, ACT established the ACT Scholars Program, as part of a pair of endowments to

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