Annie Curtis - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

Annie Curtis had no plans to attend college prior to enrolling at Columbus State Community College.

With her failing grades in high school, Curtis believed she wasn't college material. However, while attending night school, she turned her grades around and graduated high school early. Shortly afterward, Curtis enrolled at Columbus State to pursue an associate degree in Mental Health / Addiction Studies / Developmental Disabilities.

"I overcame many obstacles, both academically and personally, to attend Columbus State," she says. "I was able to succeed with the support, mentorship, and tools acquired from my professors."

"They did not hold back from the challenges we would face in the real world."

Curtis earned her degree in 2004 and in 2008 joined Starr Columbus as a community home-based therapist, working with children ranging from ages 5-18. In 2012, she was named supervisor of Starr Columbus, an agency that provides individual and family counseling, school advocacy, psychiatric services, and crisis support.

During her time at Columbus State, Curtis was able to take advantage of four internship opportunities. She credits her preparation in the social work field to Columbus State's Mental Health program and the experiences it provided her.

"The professors' breadth of knowledge and openness to explain what the career is really like was extremely helpful," she says. "They did not hold back from the challenges we would face in the real world."

After receiving her Columbus State degree she went on to earn a bachelor's degree in social work from Capital University and a master's degree in social service administration from Case Western Reserve University.

Once she believed she would never pursue a higher education, and now she has three degrees. Curtis says it all began at Columbus State.

"I believe if all students could be so lucky to have experienced any one of those distinct, key moments when a professor or program changes one's future, they would count themselves to be as lucky as I do."

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State