Student Success Story – Hannah Perkins
Hannah Perkins earned an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies with a concentration in Mathematics from Harford Community College in spring 2021. She was, in her words, “over the moon” when she learned that she’d been accepted into the Nuclear Medicine Technology program at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s School of Medical Imaging, an 18-month program that begins this May 31. Hannah hopes to become a certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist and work in in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics.
She is one of the many students whose studies were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hannah explained that while she was successful in most of her classes, she struggled in her science classes. She was taking an Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) class in person in spring 2020 when the College switched to virtual classes in its efforts to keep everyone safe. She said that A&P courses are difficult for most students, and she found it even more so being stuck at home and unable to study in the library like usual. Yet, she worked through the adverse circumstances and passed both A&P 1 and 2.
She ended up staying at Harford two years longer than originally planned because of the pandemic combined with apprehension about being rejected by the programs she wanted to pursue. Hannah finally made up her mind, with some encouragement, to turn in all her paperwork and apply to programs at Johns Hopkins. She was thrilled to learn she’d been accepted into two of the three medical imaging programs at Hopkins for which she applied, including her top choice. She’s thankful for all the help and encouragement she received, especially from her advisor, Elaine Gisriel, saying, "She was a great supporter for me."
The choice to attend Harford Community College was an easy one for Hannah. She found its affordability over four-year colleges to be a big factor and she’s been very happy with her decision. She wasn’t certain what career she wanted to pursue in the future, and didn’t want to waste her money. Her biggest surprise about Harford was how much easier she found it to focus on college classes versus her high school classes.
She believes starting at a community college is the perfect way to begin one’s higher education journey. “Most 18-year-olds have no idea what they want to do until they start taking classes. Not to mention plans change, and you may find something you enjoy doing that will be that change. Community college is the best place to do this kind of thinking without worrying about breaking the bank.” Hannah decided to continue taking courses at Harford until her program at Hopkins begins, hoping to improve her grades by repeating a couple of classes.
Hannah is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. To qualify for membership, graduates must earn at least 12 credits at Harford and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20.
During her years as a Harford student, she worked at Glory Bee’s Sewing Center, a store owned by her grandparents, and at Animal Emergency in Hickory before it closed permanently. She had previously earned a certificate in Veterinary Assisting. She’s currently working full-time at Self Storage Plus.
Hannah’s advice to other students? “Take your time. Not many people actually finish school in four years like high school tells you you're supposed to.”