Oakton Voices

Student Stories

Susanna Wagner

"Honestly, even before I had my nursing license, I knew nursing ran in my veins: medicine and helping others is part of my identity." Read how Oakton nursing alum, class of 2020, Susanna Wagner's calling became her career.

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve in Illinois, Amber Johnson is evolving her skills with it. She’s pursuing all three Cannabis Studies certificates at Oakton, with the goal to one day start a propagation center or become a craft grower.

Amber Johnson

In life—and in golf—patience, focus and confidence can really pay off. Oakton alum Nzelu Maitha has proven this time after time—as a student athlete and as a marketing and communications professional. Nzelu is one of the most prolific golfers in Oakton history.

Nzelu Maitha

Oakton Voices

Read More Oakton Voices
Your experience at Oakton will be as unique as you are. Our students are powered by connection to new ideas, community and opportunity. Explore their stories.

Ely Lemus

Published on: June 8, 2023

“What I love about Oakton’s early childhood education program is that it’s giving me the theory for the knowledge I have already from being a mom.” Read how Ely turned her parenting skills into career skills.

Consuelo Moreno

Published on: May 9, 2023

After a 30-year break from school in which she moved to the U.S. and raised two daughters, Consuelo Moreno decided it was time to earn her high school diploma. She heard from a friend that Oakton offers high school equivalency preparation courses in Spanish. And now, a year later, she’s preparing to take the stage as the high school equivalency speaker at Oakton’s 2023 commencement ceremony.

Faheem Memon

Published on: May 4, 2023

Faheem Memon ’11 is an Oakton alum, a reliability engineer at Lockheed Martin, and someone who “followed his bliss” all the way to working on NASA Orion’s Artemis Project. After a ten-year career in the aviation, mining, gas and oil industries, his education and experiences prepared him for this role – the pinnacle of his career. Memon credits his start at Oakton, the freedom to explore his interests and the lifelong friendships built here as a catalyst for his success.

Zarina Sayed

Published on: May 1, 2023

The saying goes: “Success is when preparation meets opportunity.” Zarina Sayed, an Oakton Women’s Tennis player and upcoming competitor in the NJCAA Division I Women's Tennis National Championship Tournament, would agree and amend the saying slightly.

Sheena Benson

Published on: March 30, 2023

When Sheena decided it was time to make a change in her life, she knew the first step would be going back to school. Oakton provides a supportive environment where she is pursuing her goal to become a middle school counselor.

Tyson Dean

Published on: March 2, 2023

Tyson Dean is a member of the BLACK Student Success Program and the Emory Williams Academy for Black Men. After taking some time off during the pandemic, Tyson decided to come back to Oakton to earn an associate degree.

Bushra Khan

Published on: November 29, 2022

Bushra Khan won the gold medal in the poetry category of the Phi Ro Pi national community college speech competition for her piece, “Islam in America: A Poetic Program on Power, Peace and Possibility.”

Christian Vega

Published on: November 10, 2022

Christian Vega served for three years in Alaska employed as an Aerial Port Airmen—also known as a Port Dog—in the Passenger Service Center.

Matt Schiavone

Published on: October 5, 2022

Matt Schiavone feels storytelling is at the core of social justice work. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University and working for several years at a youth nonprofit in Chicago, he realized he could apply his passion for storytelling to make a difference in the world.