Summer Roadtrip Helps Students Discover the Value of Community College

By Caitlin Eckvahl and Mai Tran, ECMC Foundation

08/28/17

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Roadtrip

Amidst the summer heat, three students hopped into a green RV for a cross-country adventure. Leaving from sunny Los Angeles they traveled to and through new cities, valleys, deserts and other terrain hoping to find answers to the same question: how can community college accelerate my education and career goals?

The trip was operated and run by Roadtrip Nation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young people find career and life fulfillment by placing them on themed road trips to discover their career goal. Fueled and funded by ECMC Foundation, the Community College Roadtrip launched to help prospective, current and recently graduated community college students gain exposure to how community college can help them discover and pursue their career goals.

Along the way, the three roadtrippers–Melanie, Armand, and Becca–interviewed a variety of industry leaders who jump-started their careers at community college. During each interview the roadtrippers heard nuggets of wisdom to help guide their own personal and professional journey. Some of the diverse and accomplished individuals they met include Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley of California Community Colleges; NASA engineer Diana Trujillo Pomerantz; and Former President Ron His Horse is Thunder of Sitting Bull College.

After traveling for 24 days and driving more than 3,300 miles the team reached their final destination: the Big Apple. Once the journey was complete they returned home with valuable educational and career guidance, new friendships and memories to last a lifetime.

Meet the Roadtrippers
Melanie Scott

Melanie Scott

Melanie once took pride in winning neighborhood fights as a teen, but now wants to return to the same community to help and empower at-risk youth.
Armand Belran

Armand Belran

Armand spent the past eight years in community college switching majors and interests. He wants to help people, but he doesn't know which career would be the best fit for him.
Becca Rodack

Becca Rodack

After undergoing surgery, Becca took some time off from school to recover. She says community college gave her a second chance to pursue her career dreams.
Read her story. Read his story. Read her story.

It's your turn: share your road to — and through — community college and inspire the next generation.

With a community college education, students gain a valuable launching pad to higher education and rewarding careers at a fraction of the cost of a four-year degree. That's why ECMC Foundation is collaborating with career exploration organization Roadtrip Nation to share the stories of community college alumni who have harnessed their community college education to find fulfilling work in a wide variety of fields.

With Roadtrip Nation's Share Your Road tool, share the steps you've taken to get where you are today—and help others, like the Community College roadtrippers, find their way.

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