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 feature ACT Scholar blog posts regularly, to hear their stories and learn about their college-going journeys. Learn more about the ACT Scholars program.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
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. Growing up, I always excelled in math and it remains the same way today. In school, I loved to get good grades because of the rewards for them at the end of the quarters. Later, I realized how important having good grades is. In my middle school years, I would excel in the classroom by having a good memory and everything came so easy to me. I didn’t start high school off on the right foot, believing that my middle school ways would work (and not study). Once I figured things out, I started to flourish in the classroom to the best of my abilities.
What was your motivation for going to college and earning a degree?
I have always had childhood dreams of being an electrical engineer and my dream began at an early age. I would always tinker around with household items and build and unbuild things out of my own curiosity. Going to college always felt like the next step to achieving my dreams and I am eager to earn a degree in the field.
What are you currently studying? What degree do you hope to earn?
I am currently studying chemistry and college algebra. I hope to earn a degree in electrical engineering. I’ve been interested in engineering since I was about 10 years old.
Why did you select this area of study?
I have selected this field because I always wanted to be an electrical engineer. It was a childhood dream I hope to turn into reality. I would fix PlayStations and such as a child to make money and occasionally fix a fan or a vacuum. I always had robots—I built them part by part.
Who inspired or supported you in your college-going journey?
I have adults in my life supporting me 100% and I am grateful. Mainly others I see thriving in my field. I’ve had multiple mentors and been in programs such as the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (ACE) program of Chicago. It’s a program for high school students mentored by professionals in each field. We took various trips and worked together on different projects around the city. They are very flexible with students’ schedules. I’ve worked on a Chicago skyscraper, and I’ve helped remodel a community apothecary in Chicago. I recently won more than $6,000 in scholarships from the program.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a college student?
Adjusting to self-discipline and not having someone to tell you things were the hardest parts of my transition so far. Once a student gets that down, college is a smooth ride. I am currently understanding self-discipline and responsibility as I go through my journey of college.
What advice would you give to a college student today?
I would encourage college students to try to exercise self-discipline and explore different classes, people, activities, etc. I believe these things can help make the transition far smoother.
What goals have you set for yourself?
I want to earn a degree in electrical engineering in the future. I feel it would benefit me in mastering my craft in my field. I am also a basketball player at Kirkwood and I have dreams of becoming professional in my sports as well. Being great at both categories is my dream.
Marcus Glover is a freshman at Kirkwood Community College majoring in Liberal Arts, pursuing his Associate of Science degree. He is from Chicago.