Setting the Stage
21-year-old Kaleny Balfour earns degree at Tri-C, plans to pursue a career in acting
“I want to be an actress.”
That’s not typically the response you get when you ask someone what they want to do for a living. For Kaleny Balfour, the answer was a no-brainer.
“I always really enjoyed performing,” Balfour said. “My first performance was in eighth grade.”
Born and raised in Cleveland, Balfour was no stranger to Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®). She graduated from high school in 2018, took a year off and began her journey at Tri-C in August 2019.
“I originally planned to go to a specialty school,” she said. “But I thought it would be easiest to get most of my prerequisites done at Tri-C.”
This month, Balfour will graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in theatre arts. She plans to attend Cleveland State University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in theater.
But her career path wasn’t always so straightforward. She, along with many other students, had to overcome the struggles of graduating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was pretty stressful,” Balfour said. “Generally, it’s been hard for me to do online classes, but it was nice how understanding the professors were.”
Though many of her general education classes have been online, she was able to participate in her acting class on campus and still receive the same quality instruction as in pre-COVID times.
“We had to wear masks and social distance,” she said. “Aside from the class being a combination of Acting I and II, it would have been pretty much the same experience if it weren’t for COVID.”
Even though the past year did not go as she expected, Balfour is still thankful for the experience she gained from attending Tri-C.
“Tri-C changed the way I communicate with people,” she said. “My biggest advice to someone in a similar situation is to not be afraid to ask for help. Someone will help you to the best of their ability.”
Cuyahoga Community College will celebrate the academic achievements of its newest graduates during commencement, June 9 at Byers Field at Robert M. Boulton Stadium in Parma. Check our News and Events page leading up to the event as we highlight members of the Class of 2021.
May 31, 2021
Madeline Shepherd, 216-987-4616 or email@example.com