Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Resilient Grossmont College student Quincy Hollings

Quincy Hollings
Quincy Hollings found himself at Grossmont College.

A product of San Diego’s impoverished City Heights neighborhood and raised by a single mom who worked two jobs to support him and his younger sister, Hollings said the backing he found at Grossmont College has set him on a path toward becoming an English teacher. Hollings, 21, is majoring in English, works as an English tutor, has a grade point average of 3.7, and has received acceptance letters from San Francisco State University and California State University Channel Islands while awaiting word from several University of California campuses, San Diego State University, and others.
“If I were to describe myself with one word, that word would be resilient,” Hollings said. “There have been numerous circumstances which have threatened to slow my progression as a person, as well as a student. Yet I am a full-time, first-generation college student who continues to strive for greatness.” His accomplishments in the face of diversity resulted in Hollings being honored with an Umoja Scholarship from the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges during a Jan. 12 awards ceremony at Cuyamaca College. He hopes the award will be the first of many that will enable him to complete his educational goals.

Those goals were once put on hold. After graduating from a San Diego charter school in spring 2016, Hollings enrolled at Grossmont College the following fall, but withdrew from his classes within weeks.“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t sure that the reason I was in college was because I thought I should be there, or because I wanted to be there,” Hollings said. “I needed to step away for a bit and focus on what I wanted to be.”

Stepping away meant taking part in the San Diego-based nonprofit Second Chance and working at a local restaurant. One year later, he was back at Grossmont College, this time more determined.“I went back not just to go to school, but to do something,” Hollings said.“I had a goal in mind, a vision, and that vision was to become a teacher.”

Unlike his first go-around at Grossmont College, Hollings this time became more active in class discussions, became more involved in school, and became a larger part of the Griffin community. “Community college is a time when you’re still figuring things out, and Grossmont is a great place that will support you while that’s happening,” he said. “My experience at Grossmont has allowed me to grow not just as a student, but as a person.”

Faculty and staff say they are impressed by the results.“Quincy embodies the work ethic, involvement and determination that it takes to be successful in college,” said Grossmont College counselor Rocio Terry. “He’s a very amiable and talented young man who has a beautiful gift of writing in a very poetic, thought-provoking and inspirational way.”

Hollings said he hopes to someday teach English at the community college level.

Grossmont College English instructor Ingrid Jayne has no doubt he will succeed.

“I know this is a good fit for him, for he is kind, understanding, and knowledgeable about English,” Jayne said. “Moreover, he has an ability to critically evaluate social issues, both locally and globally. For these reasons, I know his students will respond favorably to him and have much to gain from his knowledge and expertise.“Quincy is a memorable student and am privileged he was a part of my classes.”