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The First Step

Jackie Kennard Counadis found her voice at Corning Community College. She enrolled shy and timid. She left confident and social. How? Because, she said, of the environment and the people.

Jackie found the faculty to be more than knowledgeable. They are approachable.

“Their personalities are not intimidating,” said Jackie. “They want to engage with students. They want to help you – whenever and wherever you need it. They really cared that I did well.”

When Jackie combined the faculty’s openness with the laid-back, relaxed culture she found at CCC, she blossomed. She allowed herself to trust others; she acknowledged and nurtured her own skills and passions; and she began planning for the future, which included earning a bachelor’s degree.

With her associate’s degree in Fine Arts in hand, Jackie enrolled at RIT in the fall of 2012.

“I cannot imagine starting at RIT,” said Jackie, who watched others struggle with college life their first few weeks at RIT. “RIT is a great place and will open many doors for me. That said, I’m very glad I chose to start at CCC first. I was one of the few who were ready to be at RIT.”   

Jackie graduated from RIT in May and has spent the month of June polishing her portfolio. She has identified several companies in the mobile gaming industry who hire people to design computer-generated characters and will be sending resumes by month’s end. Right now, Jackie has her sights set on the Rochester, upstate New York area. Eventually, she plans to relocate to San Francisco, where several of the gaming giants are headquartered … companies who partner with Nickelodeon and are responsible for Candy Crush and Farmville.