Meet Rhianna: From Foster Care to Honors Program Student
“Just because we are a community college does NOT mean that the education we gain from here is any less than of a typical 4-year University.”
Rhianna Dupla thought she was “never smart enough, or even good enough to attend college and even possibly graduate high school…” She grew up in foster homes and group living and graduated from high school with a 2.5 GPA.
After deciding she didn’t want “to be a statistic…aged out foster/state youth that struggles throughout their life and never achieves their goals and aspirations,” she applied to HACC. Today, she is enrolled in HACC’s Administrative Office Management Program and has a 4.0 GPA. With the support of HACC professors, Rhianna realized she can achieve anything.
While her professors have challenged her, she has also been provided internship and career opportunities she “would have never had” without tools like HACC’s College Central Network.
Like her peers, Rhianna wants to #EndCCStigma and for others to know that “just because we are a community college does NOT mean that the education we gain from here is any less than of a typical 4-year University.” Since she chose HACC, she is “eligible for full scholarships to attend other colleges” and get her bachelor’s degree. She added, “I always say, work smart -- not hard. Just because we don't follow the average college student life, does not mean we won't succeed.”
Rhianna is the first in her family to attend college, and in 2021 she will also be the first to graduate. After graduating, she plans to obtain her bachelor’s degree, work in her field and become a philanthropist.