Shannon Hughes
CCBC Student, Construction Management

A master electrician, Shannon Hughes worked in the field for 13 years. But because of COVID-19, she was furloughed and eventually let go from her job.

She decided to enroll in Fall classes at CCBC, but she was still trying to figure out how to pay for it all when she heard about CCBC’s free tuition incentive from a friend who shared it on social media.

“This is more than a beacon of hope. This is an opportunity for people to get started on whatever their purpose is in life. I am entering into this journey with gratitude.”

Hughes immediately called the number and learned that she qualified. She is excited to start her first semester at CCBC, where she will study Construction Management at the Catonsville campus. And because she had participated in a five-year apprenticeship program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 24, much of her real-world experience translated into transfer credits at CCBC.

“This is a great opportunity for me to attend CCBC and earn my degree tuition-free,” said Hughes. “Because of money and timing, I was always putting off going back to school. I was putting everyone and everything ahead of myself. Now is the time for me.”

After graduating high school in 1999, Hughes enlisted in the military. She soon realized that career was not for her and later found her calling in the trades.

"Going to college has been a life goal of mine,” she said. “2020 has been chaotic, and I look at this as an opportunity to better myself. Instead of hopping on the bandwagon and complaining about all the bad things that are going on. I want to take this opportunity to rise above.”

Hughes said that with the unemployment situation in Maryland having so many issues, it’s been tough to pay her bills. But she has a great support system and knows that things will turn out ok.

“Without the burden on me of having to figure out how to pay tuition, I can mentally prepare myself to go back to school,” said Hughes. “I’m so excited and a little nervous. But not having to worry about money makes things so much easier.” “I am really grateful that this opportunity came up with CCBC,” she added.

Shannon Hughes, CCBC student and construction management major