Oakton Voices Archive

Susanna Wagner '20

Published on August 31, 2023

"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 Susanna Wagner's calling became her career. Read More

Amber Johnson

Published on June 28, 2023

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. Read More

Nzelu Maitha

Published on June 14, 2023

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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.” Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

Syeda Samiha

Published on September 7, 2022

Syeda Samiha wasn’t sure if she would fit in as an Oakton STEM Scholar. Initially, she wanted to study computer science, but quickly realized she wanted an education that allowed her to be creative and explore many of her interests. Read More

Maria Gutierrez

Published on September 2, 2022

When Maria Gutierrez decided to start college, she had already accomplished a lot in her life—learning English as a second language, raising her kids and excelling at her job. But then, like it did for so many, Covid changed everything. Maria is an accounting student and campus leader. Read More

Iwona Zylinska

Published on September 2, 2022

Ten years ago, Iwona Zylinska moved to the U.S. from Poland, where she was a pharmacy technician. She wanted to build on her skills in the health care field and began her education with Oakton’s medical coding and billing certificate program. Seeing a chance for even more opportunity, she went on to earn her associate degree in health information technology. Read More

John Maye

Published on September 2, 2022

John Maye had a good-paying job in banking when he felt a call to change careers. He did what so many people dream of but never do—he took the leap to go back to school. Read More

Luis Toro

Published on September 2, 2022

Oakton student body president Luis Toro found a way to express himself through competitive debate in high school. He has excelled in the Oakton community, and beyond. Read More

Jessica Swider

Published on April 29, 2022

Jessica Swider is pursuing a career as a physician’s assistant and knew Oakton would be a smart first step to gain training in medicine. Read More

Nathan Norman

Published on April 29, 2022

"If you’re looking for something that’s going to prepare you and push you forward, Oakton is the place to start," says community leader and Oakton alum Nathan Norman. Read More

A’mon Holmes

Published on April 29, 2022

"At Oakton, you get to see so many perspectives, so many different backgrounds," says Oakton student A'mon Holmes. "I’ve opened up to new ideas." Read More

Yong Yoo

Published on April 29, 2022

"Oakton made my career happen," says manufacturing alum Yong Yoo. "The professors were really willing to help me. They connected me directly to companies in the manufacturing industry." Read More

Josselyn Cruz

Published on April 29, 2022

When I started making connections at Oakton and got to know the staff and faculty and met friends, it showed me that everyone really wants me to be successful. Read More

Jose Ramirez

Published on April 29, 2022

"I want to help people and help my community," says firefighter apprentice Jose Ramirez. "The whole idea just inspired me and pushed me more to go for a career in public service." Read More

Parthvi Rana

Published on April 29, 2022

"I’m getting a strong foundation in computer science at Oakton," says Parthvi Rana. "I have a huge opportunity to represent women in the field of technology." Read More