Student Success Stories Stephanie Mankey, a single mother and high school dropout, was determined to further her education and enhance her potential. She decided to attend Prince George's Community College and quickly found an environment where she could build her self-esteem and thrive. With her sights set on a future traveling and studying, Mankey focused on the decline and disappearance of the Neanderthals and earned an associate degree in Anthropology. In the spring, she was selected for the prestigious Regents Scholars Program and offered a full scholarship and the opportunity to attend any University System of Maryland institution. Regents Scholars are nominated based on demonstrated academic ability at a Maryland community college as measured by completion of an associate degree with a grade-point average of 4.0. Candidates must exhibit strong motivation, exceptional character, and a record of extracurricular accomplishments. Mankey is currently attending the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2001, Blondene Leys joined the United States Army as a way to pay for college. When the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, Leys knew she was going to war and was proud to serve her country. Leys served in Iraq, surviving roadside bomb explosions in her supply convoy and rocket propelled grenade attacks on her compound. After leaving the military, Leys faced different challenges as a single mother with an autistic son. After putting her studies on hold for five years to care for her son at home, Leys decided to continue pursuing the college degree she had always dreamed of earning. An honors student here at Prince George's Community College, Leys receives Montgomery GI bill benefits and support through the college's veterans services. Leys is studying English and plans to become a teacher. Cris McRae, an Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and enlisted service member of the Maryland National Guard, is a man on a mission determined to launch a post-military career in government. It won’t be easy in today’s competitive economy, but he is not deterred because he knows that lessons learned on the battlefield can be applied to success in college and his future career. As a scout/sniper in Iraq conducting reconnaissance missions on high value enemy targets, often laying in wait to prevent the burial of roadside bombs, McCrae is not afraid to take on risk once he has prepared himself for every potential challenge and obstacle. In his most recent mission in Afghanistan he battled through explosions, small arms fire, and even enemy ambushes in the dead of night. Through research, planning and teamwork he has survived many military missions. Before launching his latest mission, pursuing a college education, McCrae did his homework. His final decision to attend PGCC was based on its ranking by GI Jobs magazine as a “military friendly” college and because the school offered many options to transfer to other four-year institutions. Juanita Artis | When it was my turn to speak at my high school graduation, I had regarded myself as a pity case. For once, I bared my soul and I began to divulge my father dying during my first year of high school, my mother battling against lung and intestinal cancer, and various other obstacles that made me lose sight of what I always cherished and admired about myself, my academic excellence. I applied to several four-year colleges before my mother suggested Prince George’s Community College. The day I came to the college and registered for classes was a step towards my personal and professional betterment. I obtained a job in the Office of College Life Services as an activities assistant and was cast in two theater productions. I joined Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Psi Beta National Honor Society in Psychology for Community and Junior Colleges after earning a 3.7 cumulative GPA. I found myself on the Dean’s List for 2010 and spring of 2011. Currently, I am serving my second term as the Student Governance Association's director of club relations. Overall, Prince George’s Community College has, and continues to, nurture and strengthen me everyday into a version of my idol, my mother. Yerodin Anthony came to the United States from Guyana at the age of 10. Anthony had trouble fitting in with other students and would occasionally pronounce words differently causing classmates, and even some teachers, to laugh. His sense of humor and desire to connect with others helped him through those awkward early years. By the time Anthony graduated high school a few years ago and began taking classes at Prince George’s Community College, he had a strong desire to help people and ambitions of becoming a cardiologist. His path to success became more focused when he joined groups on campus that celebrate cultural diversity, Kaleidoscope and the International Education Center. As Anthony progressed academically, Christine Barrow suggested he join the STEM Collegiate Center. In the spring, Yerodin will be transferring to University of Maryland College Park to study biological anthropology and learn how natural herbs can be used to cure diseases.