Students


Graduate Spotlight: Lesly Chittavong

Graduate Spotlight: Lesly Chittavong


Posted on May 21, 2018

In her audition speech for the student commencement speaker selection panel, Lesly Chittavong channeled her inner Fresh Prince by saying, “Let me tell you all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.”

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Graduate Spotlight: Jessica Johnson

Graduate Spotlight: Jessica Johnson


Posted on May 15, 2018

For many years, Jessica Johnson had a recurring dream. She was trapped in a strange house with no doors or windows. There was no way out. She estimates she had that dream at least 20 times over the years. Two years ago, she had that dream again, but this time it was different. This time the house had doors and windows and she was able to leave. She invited other people who were trapped in the house to come with her. Some followed and they fled into the woods near the house. Eventually they encountered a mountain and started to climb it. As Jessica climbed and climbed, the others who were following her started to give up and went back down. The higher Jessica climbed, the more people below her gave up. When she reached the summit, she was alone to enjoy the beautiful view.

To Jessica, this new version of the dream was symbolic of her finally breaking free from feeling trapped in a dark place and finally rising to the top with a clear view of a more beautiful life in front of her.

And she has Rock Valley College to thank for it.

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For most of his life Emilio Salinas has been in situations where he has risen from obscurity to, seemingly overnight, become one of the “cool kids.” It happened for him as a student at Hallstrom Homeschool where he went from a “bumpy” first year of trying to fit in to the kid everyone knew, and now it has happened for him again at Rock Valley College where the once fearful kid who wasn’t sure he wanted anything to do with college can’t walk across campus now without being recognized by fellow students, staff, or faculty members due to his role as a student worker in the IT department and as the Vice President of Communication for the Student Government Association.

Just recently, Emilio was hoping his popularity would soar once again, this time from the guy who performs at Potbelly in Rockford to the next American Idol.

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Devon Pettigen (pet-a-gin) was elected as the student representative to the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees in April of 2017, and will serve in this role through May of 2018. As the Student Trustee, it is Devon’s responsibility to act as a conduit between the student body and the Board of Trustees, and to make sure the students’ best interests are being considered by the Board.

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Promise of a New Day

Promise of a New Day


Posted on Aug 28, 2017

Erica Bibalou lights up when she talks about the journey that led her from the African country of Gabon to Rockford, Illinois, and the campus of Rock Valley College. It’s a journey that has been filled with adversity and adventure, and of dreams that have gone from fantasy to reality.

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