Will Torres was scrambling.
It was summer 2019 and Torres had applied to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He had 31 days to prepare the most important application of his life.
“I had to connect with the faculty and mentors who would write my letters of recommendation and begin writing my statement of purpose,” he says.
Torres thought he had all the components complete when he got a note from admissions – he still needed to submit transcripts. That included transcripts from Lorain County Community College.
A welcoming local option
Growing up on the east side of Lorain, Torres took College Credit Plus courses at LCCC during his senior year at Lorain Southview High School. It was two English courses, and they changed his life.
“My professor pushed me hard,” Torres says. “I wouldn’t have been ready for the rigorous liberal arts education that awaited me in Wooster, if not for LCCC.”
After high school, Torres enrolled in the College of Wooster. During summer breaks, he came back to LCCC. “LCCC was a great, welcoming local option,” Torres says.
“Without LCCC, I wouldn’t have earned my bachelor’s degree in four years.”
Finalizing the application of a lifetime
Since earning his degree in Black Studies/English in 2005, Torres has spent the last 15 years helping young people improve their lives through education. While he considered his career successful, Torres felt his positive influence was being stifled.
“Harvard offered me the opportunity to build skills and learn concepts that will help me help students on a much larger scale,” Torres says.
But he still needed to finalize his application and, living in Chicago, Torres was worried about getting his LCCC transcript in time. Luckily, he got a “shockingly quick and positive response.”
A few emails later, Torres’ application was complete. And on August 2, 2020 Torres received a message from Harvard admissions – he was in.
Inspiring others to get their start at LCCC
Torres was accepted into the Education Policy and Management Program and expects to earn his master’s in education in spring 2022.
As Torres looks ahead, he says he’ll never forget where he came from, how hard it was to achieve success, and the role LCCC played in his life.
“I have ten nieces and I have big dreams for them all,” Torres says. “Education has opened so many doors for me and I want each of them to have even more opportunities than I have. LCCC is affordable and accessible and I hope they begin or continue their education there.”