Our Stories

Hear stories from our students about why kent state university is the place for them.

Jordan Wilkens stands in front of a background image of Kent State University's Kent Campus Esplanade

Kent State Student Reaches Sky-High for the Academic S.T.A.R.S.

When Jordan Wilkins was a senior in high school, he thought he knew what he wanted after graduation – a career in the United States Air Force. However, his principal envisioned a different path, one where he would soar sky-high, not in a plane but at a four-year university.

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Celeste Dawson credits Kent State’s EXCEL program for making the Kent Campus feel like a second home.

EXCEL Helps Student Find Her Fit

Celeste Dawson had made up her mind. She was not going to attend college and that was her final decision. 

Her story could have ended there, but the support of her parents and a program at Kent State University opened up a new chapter in her life – one filled with opportunities she never imagined.

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Student Elijah Kirkland-Boyce stands on the Kent State Ice Rink

On the Brink of Losing His Dream of a College Degree, Student Turns to Kent State's Support Services

During his first year at Kent State University, Elijah Kirkland-Boyce realized that the road to the Dean’s List was a bumpy one, filled with twists and turns he never could have anticipated. Instead of giving up, Mr. Kirkland-Boyce reached out. He started taking advantage of the resources offered through Student Support Services.

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Kellie Miley standing among greenery and plants

From Failing Grades to a Master’s Degree, How Kent State Helped a Student Get Back on Track

Kellie Miley is the first to admit, when she graduated from Rootstown High School in 2008, she was not ready for college. In high school, she barely cracked a book yet managed a 3.2 grade point average (GPA).

Getting by with little effort changed when she started as a freshman at Kent State University. By the end of the year, Ms. Miley found herself academically dismissed for poor grades.

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After all she has overcome, Diamond Lauderdale credits Kent State with helping her reach her dreams.

Kent State Student Finds Purpose, Passion and Empowerment

For Diamond Lauderdale, Kent State University is not only her chosen college, it is her new home.

While growing up in Akron, Ohio, Ms. Lauderdale’s home life was challenging. She lived with her disabled father and worked two jobs to help make ends meet. Ms. Lauderdale’s father has been unable to walk for many years, and as she got older, her father’s condition worsened. Through it all, Ms. Lauderdale held onto a dream. She wanted to get a college education.

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Mackenzie Bailey standing in front of a blue and gold wall

Kent State's EXCEL Learning Community Supports Student After Devastating Loss

Like most students, Mackenzie Bailey faced the typical challenges during the start of her academic career, including choosing a major and getting good grades. But that all paled in comparison to the devastating news she received her freshman year: her father had terminal cancer.

“When I was home for winter break, he ended up passing away,” Ms. Bailey said.

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