Adults going back to the classroom

June 24, 2014

Rodney Howell knew it was time to walk the walk if he was going to pursue his goal of one day mentoring disadvantaged youth. Although he’d bring plenty of life experiences to the table – he grew up in the former Cabrini Green public housing project – there wouldn’t be much substance behind a plea to stay in school.

“It’s hard to tell people the importance of getting an education when you haven’t done it yourself,” Howell said.

The 56-year-old Howell decided to enroll at Harper College and study human services. He now boasts a 3.8 GPA and will graduate with an associate degree in December.

Other adults thinking about continuing their own education are invited to visit to learn more. An information session will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 5.

“We see a lot of career changers and adults searching for that next step,” said Phil Mortenson, Recruiting Manager for Student Recruitment and Outreach. “People can not only learn about our ample support services, financial aid and scholarships, they’ll end up encouraged to go forward.”

Rodney said he was flat-out afraid to return to school, fearful he wouldn’t be able to pass a class. But he quickly saw the ample help available to him.

“In life you realize you can’t do it alone, and school is no different,” Rodney said. “I won’t lie and say this hasn’t been challenging, but the whole process has exceeded my wildest expectations. Now, I’ve got all the tools to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

To RSVP for the info session or for more information, call 847.925.6081 or visit

Media contact: Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159.