Growing up without public schooling, Grace Haskin didn’t think she had a chance of going to college.
“I received a homeschooling education of sorts, but it was heavily biased and severely lacking,” Haskin said. “Higher education, especially for women, was not valued. Aside from the Internet, my siblings and I were very isolated from the outside world.”
Haskin, who knew she wanted to go to college from an early age, was able to find solace and inspiration online. She researched many college websites and learned most required a high school diploma and SAT/ACT scores.
“I didn’t think I had a chance of getting either of those things,” said Haskin, who did attend Marine City High School for one year.
Haskin turned to St. Clair County Community College for help.
“While I was attending Marine City High School in 2007, I was playing violin with the International Symphony Orchestra,” Haskin said. “The ISO practiced in the Fine Arts Building at SC4 every Tuesday night, so I was already familiar with the campus. The SC4 admissions team was very gracious to work with me.”
Haskin attended SC4 from 2008 to 2010, graduating magna cum laude with an Honors Associate of Arts with a concentration in music education.
After SC4, Haskin worked for a few years and moved to North Carolina where she attended East Carolina University and received her Bachelor of Science in communication in 2015. She then went to graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and received her Master of Arts in conflict management and resolution in 2017 with a focus on national and international security.
Today Haskin, 29, lives in Washington, D.C., working as an analyst for the Government Accountability Office on the contracting and national security acquisitions team. There, she examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and activities; and provides analyses, recommendations and other assistance to help Congress make effective oversight, policy and funding decisions.
According to Haskin, her time at SC4 changed her worldview and gave her a new perspective.
“SC4 was truly my first exposure to so many different ideas,” she said. “The critical thinking skills I learned from Professor Thomas Obee’s class, for instance, are skills I use at my job every day in order to assess information in an objective and unbiased manner. My experiences at SC4 very much prepared me for the next steps in my education and career.”