“Life-Changing” is a phrase that 2012 graduate Yannick Brown, Cheltenham, consistently uses to describe his education at Montgomery County Community College.
“My experience at MCCC taught me a lot about myself,” he said. “I matured a lot over the years and developed new focus and discipline.”
Yannick first enrolled at the college as a part-time business major in 2008.
“At that time, I was so focused on being a rapper; I enrolled at Montco because I wanted to record in the studios,” Yannick said, referring to the digital audio production and recording studios that are part of MCCC’s communications program. “Soon, school work started to become more and more important, and I was spending more time in the library than the studio.”
He added, “I still engineer, write songs and produce, but now my focus is more on hitting the books than recording.”
Yannick attributes part of his transition into a more serious scholar to discovering his passion for psychology.
“I took Intro to Psychology with [Assistant Professor] Steve Baron, and I switched my major right there,” he said.
Yannick also credits MCCC’s Minority Male Mentoring Program, which he was involved with since its inception, in helping him to move in the right direction.
“Dr. Steady Moono [vice president of Student Affairs] and Michael Jackson [former Title III academic coach] saw potential in me. They told me about the program and the resources that I would have access to,” he explained. “At that point, I was still transitioning into becoming a better student and person. They told me this program would keep me on the right track.”
He is paying it forward in his role as a peer mentor in MCCC’s Student Success Center. For the past two years, he has worked approximately 15 hours per week, answering student questions and giving campus tours, among other tasks.
“My favorite part of the job is seeing students walk away knowing I helped them. It’s a good feeling.”
Yannick, who will turn 23 in August, plans to transfer to West Chester University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Ultimately, he hopes to work in the area of mental health. To help him prepare, he has lined up an internship this summer at Norristown State Hospital, where he’ll work with a variety of physicians, counselors and researchers to determine what areas he is most interested in pursing.
“I’m walking out the doors [of MCCC] as a better person,” he shared. “It’s been a great experience. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wish I could do it again, but it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.”