The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes in daily life. What it hasn’t done is deter Michael Gonet from achieving his dream of earning a bachelor’s degree.
“Though we face COVID-19 together it has not stopped me. I thank God for my good health and the strength to power through when this journey seemed too tough,” Gonet says.
Gonet, 23, of Sheffield Township, says he appreciates the opportunity through LCCC’s University Partnership to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering (CSE) from The University of Toledo.
Ready for the rigor
Gonet’s time in the CSE program was filled with late nights and weekends of work. But he was used to working hard. Gonet graduated in 2015 from the Lorain County Early College High School, earning both his high school diploma and associate degree at the same time.
For him, going right into a bachelor’s degree was challenging, but not overwhelming.
“This rigorous program prepared me for positions in both the computer science and electrical engineering fields,” Gonet says. “I am now capable of solving problems ranging from my hobbyist tinkering projects all the way to those found in the technology industry’s leading-edge products.”
One problem he didn’t have to solve was getting to know the LCCC campus. He decided to stick close to home and earn his bachelor’s degree through the University Partnership.
“When I finished at the Early College High School, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do afterward. The University Partnership gave me the opportunity to pursue my interests in an environment that I was already comfortable with and felt like home,” Gonet says.
Top-notch support & life-changing savings
Gonet says the support he received from both LCCC and Toledo staff and faculty was top-notch and important to his success.
“The people along the way have made the experience better than I ever thought it would be,” he says. “I want to thank my LCCC instructors and the University of Toledo instructors stationed at the University Partnership Ridge Campus for preparing me, pushing me, and testing me.”
Gonet also acknowledges the University Partnership’s financial benefit. “I was able to take about half of my classes through LCCC at its tuition rate saving a lot of money,” Gonet says.
And because of his grades Gonet was eligible for the LCCC Trustee Scholarship and a partial Computer Science Engineering Scholarship through the LCCC Foundation.
“I will graduate without student loans following me as I move into my career,” he says.
Solving pandemic problems
Michael Gonet has done more than study during the pandemic – he’s helped solve problems created by it. Gonet and his brother Christopher have been 3D printing “ear savers” that protect mask wearers from the daily irritation of the mask straps.
“We printed a few dozen to send to our aunt, who works in the offices at the Cleveland Clinic so she could distribute them there. It seemed like most supplies were routed to the nurses and doctors – as they should have been – but we wanted to make sure those workers were not forgotten.”