Build Your Support System, Get Involved, and Be Proactive About Financial Assistance

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 nurture the academic talent of graduate and community college students at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. These two institutions share ACT’s passion for helping all students achieve their ambitions in college and their careers. ACT emphasized scholarships for students from populations for which the cost of higher education could have presented a significant barrier to college access and accomplishments. 

We will feature ACT Scholar blogs regularly, to hear their stories and learn about their college-going journeys. Learn more about the ACT Scholar program.

What was your motivation for going to college and earning a degree?  

My main motivation for pursuing a college degree is my family; I am a single father of a daughter. My mother is also my motivation. She has taught me from a very young age about the value of an education. I am seeking a college degree to get a better job, specifically in information technology. I am most interested in learning more about network and system administration and I believe with more knowledge and skills I will be able to further my career.

What are you currently studying? What degree will you earn?  

I am currently enrolled in the network and system administration program at Kirkwood Community College. Once I have completed this two-year program, I will have earned an associate degree, followed by my goal to earn a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering.

Who inspired or supported you in your college-going journey? 

I have financially supported myself along with assistance from financial aid and the ACT Endowed Scholarship. I am sincerely honored to have been selected as the recipient of the ACT scholarship. My lifelong dream of becoming a network and system administrator is moving forward thanks to generous educational scholarships. This award has provided me an opportunity to learn skills that I will use to serve the community.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a first-generation college student?  

Since I come from a different cultural background in Togo, West Africa, I was feeling uncomfortable in the collegiate atmosphere. However, I understand the value of an education. A community college education is an expense but it’s an investment that is definitely worthwhile.

What advice would you give to a first-generation college student today?  

The advice I can give to first-generation college students is to build their support system, to get involved, and to be proactive about financial assistance.

What goals have you set for yourself?  

The goals I set for myself are to visit the Career Services department to explore current job opportunities and take an extra challenging course to push myself in my learning. I am committed to my career as a professional network administrator and I am proud to continue making progress to earn a degree with an excellent grade point average. 

Kossi Boluvi is currently a student at Kirkwood Community College’s Cedar Rapids campus. He is pursuing an associate degree in network and system administration. He plans to go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering.