Lemons and Lemonade: Finding Opportunity at Tri-C During the Pandemic
The College’s Petros Family Student Relief helped Rawle G. Cummings retrain after losing his job
The Petros Family Student Relief Fund debuted at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) last summer to help students overcome financial hardships and continue their studies during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It has provided emergency aid and tuition assistance to nearly 150 students, including Rawle G. Cummings. In the following essay, which was published in the Spring 2021 issue of Tri-C Times magazine, Cummings explains how the relief fund powered his return to Tri-C to retrain.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It’s the old adage used to encourage optimism and a positive, can-do spirit in the face of adversity or misfortune.
While 2020 brought its share of tragedy and challenges, I was determined to create a positive outcome. In March, I was released by my employer — a situation exacerbated by the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
It was my opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons, and Cuyahoga Community College and its Petros Family Student Relief Fund were a vital part of my comeback story.
I had attended Tri-C after high school, receiving IT training and certification through the Cisco Networking Academy. More than 20 years later, I reached out to my former professor — now dear friend and mentor — Dr. Hamid Abdollahian. He encouraged me to return to Tri-C to advance my current skills and achieve the next level of Cisco certification.
Thanks to the Petros Family fund, I was able to fund my continuing education and professional development. I completed the first training session in fall 2020 and will finish my remaining coursework this spring.
My message to students is that it’s never too late to start at — or, in my case, return to — Tri-C. Education and professional development are the tools that open opportunities for advanced achievement and success.
The greatest investment you can make is an investment in yourself. With the College’s help, I’m working to squeeze out every ounce of my potential.
It’s a lot like making that glass of lemonade, and I intend for my cup to be full.
March 26, 2021
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org