Jermaine Pigee, Harper Alum

Headshot of Jermaine PigeeWhen I arrived at Harper College in the fall of 2002, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Getting to college was a challenge on its own, because I was a special education student in high school. My former teachers didn’t think I’d make it through high school, let alone college.

Despite what they thought, I took a chance and enrolled at Harper College. It was the best decision I could’ve made. There are numerous tutors on campus, so I was able to get plenty of help in math and Spanish. I was living in that math lab.

One of the classes that I took was a career building class, which helped me carve out a career path. My love for meeting new people, writing and my curiosity landed me in an intro to journalism class. Writing always came natural to me, so I decided to give it shot. The class taught me the basics about journalism, including how to write stories, conduct interviews and how to edit stories.

I also enrolled in a mass media class, and the big assignment was to interview someone working in the media world. Gasp! I was a big fan of this radio DJ in Chicago, so I paid her a visit. Those classes, coupled with that interview, let me know that journalism was the field for me. From Harper, I was able to make a smooth transition to Northern Illinois University, where I received by bachelor’s degree in journalism.

With the help of the classes and tutors at Harper College, I went from special education student, to a Deputy Editor at Northwest Quarterly Magazine in Rockford. I’m doing what a lot of people didn’t think was possible. I recently had one high school teacher admit that she didn’t have faith in me and she has since apologized.

Harper College definitely gave me the jump-start I needed to get my career off the ground. For that, I’ll be forever thankful.


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