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Article updated: 9/27/2013 8:39 AM

4-year-old becomes college 'kid'


QUINCY -- Not too long ago, 4-year-old Alexa Mosley was watching "Toy Story 3" and grew curious when Andy went off to college, leaving Buzz Lightyear and the rest of his long-time pals behind.

That sad story line, however, is not what affected Alexa the most.

She told her grandma, Ruth Kinnamon, "I've got to be thinking about what college I am going to go to."

Alexa's thoughts that day eventually led to her Sept. 11 visit to John Wood Community College.

She received a grand tour of the JWCC campus at 48th and Harrison, where she also received a one-on-one meeting with the college's president, John Letts. By Steve Eighinger. The Quincy Herald-Whig.

Alexa was accompanied by her parents, Kirk and Cassie Mosley, and grandma Ruth.

"I've been in this business more than 40 years and this is one of the most interesting things I have been a part of," Letts said.

Letts learned of Alexa's desire to tour a college during a casual conversation with her mom during a recent Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce event. When Letts told others at the school, the wheels were immediately set in motion to make Alexa's wish become a reality.

"I want to be a ballerina teacher," Alexa told Letts during their meeting.

During her tour of the JWCC campus, Alexa was able to visit the Mary Ellen Orr Auditorium and made her way to the stage and curtsied for everyone.

"Who would think a 4-year-old would be thinking about college?" Cassie Mosley said. "But it is something all parents should be thinking about very early, to start saving for the expenses."

Letts agreed.

"The big picture is very important, pre-planning is very important," he said. "She's a smart little girl and let's hope we can keep her interested for the next 14 years."

When Alexa was finished with her 45-minute tour, she was asked if she would like to return some day as a student.

Her eyes sparkled and she could hardly wait to provide her answer.

"Yep!" she said.

Alexa's story has already had an effect at JWCC. The school will host its first "Kids on Campus" event from 4-6 p.m. Sept. 19. The concept is geared toward children in kindergarten through third grade, but all ages are welcome to attend free of charge.

Children will be able to tour the campus with their parents, meet Letts and learn about future careers through various activities planned for that night. Students will be able to get inside a fire truck, police car, honk the horn of a semi-truck and learn how to take blood pressure with the help of JWCC faculty and students.

Parents will be able to learn about how to save for college expenses, plus receive information about scholarships and financial aid.

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