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updated: 5/3/2013 1:40 PM

COD Names 2013 Student Essay Contest Winners

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College of DuPage recently announced the winners of the 2013 Student Essay Contest.

Open to all currently enrolled students, entrants were asked to describe their experience at the College. Entries were judged on writing style, clarity of expression and relevance. Winners include Tiffany Brownell (Glen Ellyn), first place; Abigail Escatel (Riverside), second place; and Linda Kolling (Bolingbrook), third place.

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Click here to read the winning essays.

Brownell's first-place essay details her struggles to overcome domestic abuse, addictions, mental illness and homelessness and her decision to enroll for classes at COD. She has successfully completed her prerequisites and plans to apply to the Diagnostic Imaging Radiological Program.

"(College of DuPage) is a valuable asset to the community, economically affordable, and no matter what one's background, provides fertile ground where the mind of any eager, dedicated student can grow," Brownell wrote.

Escatel's second-place essay details her life as an unmotivated high school student and her unexpected pregnancy at 17. After realizing the changes necessary to provide a better life for her daughter, Escatel enrolled at College of DuPage.

"Four years ago, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today. My experiences at College of DuPage not only inspired me to get involved, but taught me the true meaning of leadership," she wrote.

Third-place winner Kolling's essay details her decision to enroll at College of DuPage. "My new life motto: It is never too late to be what you might have been. I am open. I am teachable, I am amazed. I am a 50+ year-old, first-semester student at College of DuPage."

Prizes are $100 for first place, $50 for second place and a third-place prize of $25. As first prize winner, Brownell's essay also is entered in the state-wide competition, with a chance to win a $500 stipend for educational expenses and attend the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) awards banquet.

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