Getting Involved Helped Student Succeed at Tri-C
December 14, 2015
The beginning of Frannie Grauel’s time at Cuyahoga Community College was nothing to write home about. While her friends from high school had gone away to college, Grauel, well, was home.
She felt lonely and unsure of herself, and she needed a way to engage with her own school.
So one day, she walked into the Student Life office at Tri-C’s Westshore Campus, and everything fell into place. Guidance and engagement lifted her, and on Dec. 17 she will walk across the stage to collect her associate degree.
“Tri-C is such an incredibly positive community as long as you apply yourself,” Grauel said.
Apply herself she has. Not only is she vice president of Westshore Campus student government, she is on joint student council; volunteers for campus bake sales, popcorn sales, car washes, etc.; volunteers with both Lakewood High School’s theater program and Lakewood Presbyterian Church, and works part time — all while attending classes.
At Westshore, she has spearheaded, along with other student government members, two major initiatives: therapy dogs on campus for finals week and a student food pantry.
Both projects have been successful. Students love having the dogs on campus during finals. The dogs help relieve stress, and they make students smile. The food pantry has helped many Westshore students.
Grauel, a graduate of Lakewood High School, said that counselors at Tri-C helped her hone her career focus and develop her potential. A few scholarships also helped her realize her degree.
Grauel plans to transfer next fall to Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. She wants to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and anthropology with a minor in Spanish. Her dream job is to teach high school sociology and Spanish.
“Education is so important because it affects people’s outcomes and what they do in their life. I want to be a teacher, to be part of that support system, and to teach kids and make them more aware of the world around them. I had a few teachers in high school that were extremely supportive of me, and I want to be that to someone else.”
Speaking from experience, Grauel had two words of advice about succeeding: Get involved.
“Don’t be afraid to start your own thing — a student club, a study group, whatever. Make a community of people for yourself. And then involve yourself. It is so rewarding.”