Elena Wimpey

Fifteen years ago, I moved to the United States from Russia, and found myself immersed in a culture unfamiliar to me while struggling to learn a new language I could barely speak. I found my solace in reading, where I would sit for hours at a time with a Russian-American dictionary and a pile of magazines and teach myself how the English language worked.

When I decided to pursue my passion for cosmetology a few years ago, I knew Tri-County Community College was the perfect fit for a myriad of reasons: it was local, affordable, and they had an acclaimed cosmetology program. At first I was concerned at the thought of losing time with my children, and about any barriers my less-than-perfect English might pose. At TCCC, however, I found teachers who not only worked to ensure clear communication, but who also supported me every step of the way on my path toward my goal of one day owning my own business.

I am a firm believer in hard work, and my college education at TCCC has been no exception. I recently completed my training in cosmetology and now am finishing my last year to achieve my associate’s degree. At TCCC I have learned from extraordinary teachers, who never became frustrated at my language or cultural barriers and encouraged me to work hard and celebrate my successes.