Tri-C is full of surprises as avenues open for Mya McCain
Coming to Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) was a triage decision for Amya “Mya” McCain. She didn’t plan to attend Tri-C, but she needed to improve her GPA before going to a four-year school.
So, Tri-C it was — but her journey took her to unexpected places.
“I ended up being happily surprised with my Tri-C experience, especially being a Mandel Scholar. I had a really, really good experience at Tri-C,” she said.
Now with graduation on the horizon, McCain will claim an Associate of Arts degree with a concentration in political science in June. Her ultimate goal is to become a college professor.
McCain, who called Westshore Campus home base, came to Tri-C after graduating from North Olmsted High School in 2019. A counselor suggested she apply to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Scholars Academy because, to her amazement, McCain earned a high ACT score — especially in math.
McCain was accepted to the Scholars Academy soon after applying. She found it a perfect fit for her area of concentration because of the focus on leadership and other humanities studies.
“I loved the sense of community the Scholars Academy built for me. I really missed that part during COVID,” McCain said. “I made friends and met people from a lot of different places. I really like learning about different cultures and different languages. Having that kind of connection became important to me, especially coming from an area where one doesn’t get exposure to a lot of different cultures.”
McCain said these new connections taught her to discuss things in a non-confrontational way. She enjoyed the way she and her peers could talk about heavy topics and still respect each other.
Following the 2016 presidential election, McCain realized how much she cared about politics and policy. “I got used to watching the news a lot and talking about politics. It came to the point where it was normal for me. I really wanted a career that gave me an opportunity to talk about these things. Instead of going into politics per se, I could study political science, become a professor and teach politics to others.”
McCain is still considering post-graduation options. She is leaning toward American University in Washington, D.C. She said the location would offer “fantastic internship opportunities” that would allow her to grow professionally.
And Tri-C proved an unexpected launching pad.
McCain said the College community is what stood out to her.
“It was nice to have a stable support system that, no matter what, I could rely on,” she said. “I got a lot of emotional security out of this community. I was really lucky to have that at Tri-C.”
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.
June 05, 2021
Leanne van Beers-Werneke, 216-987-2201 or firstname.lastname@example.org