“HCC helped me step out of my comfort zone and led to my development as a successful student and ultimately as a successful professional in the workforce. HCC was a beacon of hope when I needed it most.”

— Jorge Polanco, 2013 HCC Hope Scholar and Honors Program Graduate

At the age of sixteen, I was forced to drop out of high school. What followed were difficult years that destroyed my confidence. Eight years later, at the age of twenty-four, I earned my high school diploma and mustered the courage to enroll at HCC. What initially felt like an uncomfortable mistake, became a journey of discovery and new-found confidence in myself. HCC unraveled all of the negative experiences and gave me the tools necessary build a new life. HCC did more than simply provide an education. It fostered opportunities to become immersed in perspectives of learning that were foreign to me. I felt like the entire staff at HCC was rooting for me to succeed, from inspiring professors, like Dr. Keith Berry and Prof. Dustin Lemke, to my counselors and peers. HCC has an amazing support system. My involvement in HCC student government and the Hope Scholars program helped me secure internship opportunities and enhanced my professional advancement. I earned my A.A. degree at HCC and a B.A. degree in Business Management at USF. Today, I have a great career in operations at a global consulting firm, and as an MBA candidate, my education on going.