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Silvia Ilunga

CCBC Student, Nursing (RN) Associate to Bachelor’s Program, '26

Profile photo of Silvia Ilunga

CCBC in three words: fun, inspiring and eye-opening.

Silvia Ilunga took two classes at CCBC while still in high school and had a great experience. When deciding about college, she knew it offered her Nursing major, financial support, and was close to home. “CCBC was just the right place for me. I didn’t feel the need to look into any other options,” she said.

As a first-generation student from a low-income family, cost was her main concern. She made good use of CCBC scholarship opportunities and other financial aid to cover most of her expenses. She said, “CCBC is very affordable to pretty much anyone.” She continues to research and apply for scholarships on the CCBC website to help fund her education and recommends that all students do, too. “Every scholarship has pushed me a step further, and I am highly grateful.”

Ilunga wanted to be a nurse before she even knew how much or what it takes to be one. “My community is important to me, and most importantly, the health of those around me. It gives me joy when everyone is well taken care of.” That motivation encourages her meet all the requirements needed to reach her goal of becoming an RN. She is entering the competitive Associate to Bachelor's (ATB) program at CCBC. “Having a passion is great, but getting to see how it comes to reality is the main part of the story, and that’s where CCBC comes in.”

Balancing academics while working is not easy, but with the availability of online and early morning classes, Ilunga can go to school and still have time for her job and family. She describes her experience with online classes as being her own academic boss.

Support from faculty is an important factor as well. “The faculty at CCBC is amazing, and they are very understanding! I will always remember my English 101 professor at CCBC Catonsville, Professor Maura Hill. Not only did she make sure we all were doing well in her class, but she would take one-on-one time with us to make sure we were also emotionally and mentally good. It felt like having a school mom. All my professors are awesome, and they do care about the students.”

The education at CCBC is just what I need for me to succeed. As one of the top schools with great nurses, it is quite impressive, and who wouldn’t want to partake in greatness?

Ilunga describes herself as an introvert but knows she needs to get involved to make the most of her academic experience. She said, “Getting involved is fun, and you get to know more people. It helps you to develop social skills and learn what is out there for you.” By getting involved, Ilunga met people who gave her advice about preparing for courses and applying to the nursing program. She was also part of the Bethel Fellowship, where she shared time with people who helped her grow in her faith as a Christian.

Ilunga likes the diverse and supportive community at CCBC. She said, “While we come to gain academic excellence, CCBC considers mental health support, emotional support, financial support, and in many other ways.” Her recommendation to anyone considering community college is to consider your financial state and look to the resources that can help you pursue your degree without getting into a financial crisis. She notes that receiving a quality education, having affordable transportation, and realizing your passions are other important factors to consider.

On her path to success, Ilunga plans to receive her associate's and bachelor’s degrees in Nursing simultaneously through the ATB program. She said, “As a first-generation, it is very remarkable.”

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