Elyria’s Luke Peters hasn’t let medical challenges slow him down. He graduated high school with two associate degrees and entered CSU’s Mandel Honors College as a junior – all debt-free.

As a student at Keystone High School, Luke Peters barely had time to breathe.

In addition to earning his high school diploma, Peters took college courses through Lorain County Community College’s College Credit Plus program, earning two associate degrees at no cost to himself by the time he graduated high school. And because he didn’t have to hold a job to pay tuition, he was able to focus on his studies and fill every remaining moment with the things he loved. Peters was president of the Academic Challenge club, class secretary, choir president and varsity team captain of his high school cross country team. And he graduated from high school as class valedictorian.

That amount of activity is enough to leave someone breathless … literally.

“During the school year, I was fighting off fatigue,” Peters says. “I also faced medical complications during my junior and senior years of high school, so some days I really struggled.”

But Peters was determined to overcome both physical and mental challenges in pursuit of an educational experience that would help him earn a full-tuition scholarship to Cleveland State University’s Mandel Honors College.

Finding support

Peters’ medical complications, including shortness of breath, made it difficult to participate in the activities he enjoyed, especially cross country. But he never let them slow him down.

“In his last couple of years of high school, Luke persevered and continued to support his cross country teammates, even though his medical condition kept him from running at the peak performance levels he enjoyed in previous years,” says his mother, Karen Peters. “Despite his condition, he was a valuable asset to the team and spent his off season helping recruit new team prospects.”

And learning to balance his medical condition with high school, sports and clubs, and college-level courses taught Peters about life and adult responsibilities, says his father, Darryl Peters.

“LCCC taught Luke to appreciate the importance of working with advisers for scheduling classes and staying on track for graduation.”
Darryl Peters, father of Luke Peters

“LCCC taught Luke to appreciate the importance of working with advisers for scheduling classes and staying on track for graduation,” he says. “He worked hard to keep up with his classes at Keystone High School and LCCC while, at the same time, being involved in sports, school activities, church youth group, theater and talent competitions.”

At the college, Peters found supportive and helpful faculty, particularly J. David Amos, an adjunct faculty member who teaches economics. Amos had a significant impact on Peters’ academic path and potentially, his future career.

“Professor Amos inspired me to continue my studies into economics and history, giving me direction in deciding what degree program to pursue,” Peters says.

Amos says his own background in history has helped him both as an economics professor and as a practicing economist, and knowing Peters’ interests, he encouraged him to pursue a similar path.

Full speed ahead

With his academic path clear, his medical condition under control and two associate degrees on his resume, Peters has been moving full speed ahead. He entered Cleveland State University’s Mandel Honors College in fall 2018 as a junior and is double-majoring in economics and history.

Peters’ father sees LCCC as the place that prepared him for success at CSU.

“Because of his experience at LCCC, Luke was well-prepared to enter into his first year at CSU, where he is now living and thriving,” he says.

And once again, Peters is earning his degrees at no tuition expense to his family.

“Due to his outstanding character, academic and personal accomplishments, along with his stellar GPA, he has earned a full-tuition scholarship,” says his father.

The financial relief Peters’ educational experience has given his parents has been immeasurable.

“The credits Luke earned through LCCC have saved us a tremendous amount of money,” Darryl Peters says. “After having sent his two older siblings to a private college for four years, this has been a huge financial relief.”

Just as valuable to Peters is what his college experience taught him about himself and his ability to overcome any barrier — and the groundwork LCCC laid to help him work toward his goals. Today, Peters is also working toward a minor in communications to help him realize the dream of one day publishing a book and running a successful podcast. And as for his career goals?

“I want to become a political pundit or work in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, specializing in white-collar crime,” he says. “And LCCC helped me find my way and put me on a path to success.”