Alexa Raye Thompson, Michigan Technological University

Posted on

Major: Electrical Engineering
Graduation Date: May 5, 2018
Not Counted Because: Transferred

My father died in 2005; and my mother died in 2009 during my last semester of high school—both were taken suddenly by heart disease. That fall, I enrolled at Albion College, but was academically terminated after my third semester. In the fall of 2011, I started taking classes at WCCCD, where I was introduced to the federal TRiO program. Through TRiO, I applied to the MiCUP summer research program at Michigan Tech, and I transferred in the fall of 2015.

My current plan for the future is to complete a summer 2018 internship, participate in the European Project Semester program in Spain fall 2018, complete a co-op for the spring and summer of 2019, and enter graduate school in fall 2019 to earn a Ph.D. degree in neural engineering.

Having a college degree means having options. My family circumstances and socioeconomic background are two strikes against me in that regard. Higher education provides flexibility in choosing what one dedicates their life to, instead of just taking any job to survive. Also, a college degree allows me to better assist other similarly disadvantaged individuals, which is important to me.