Meet our Students
Meet Julia Kelly
The path to higher education has been far from conventional for Julia Kelly. She was born to missionary parents in New Delhi, India. From an early age she was homeschooled by her parents, and at the age of 16, Julia took the G.E.D. Afterward, she began working at a nonprofit organization. When the nonprofit moved, Julia followed, and from 2007 – 2009 she worked full-time in Mexico.
While there, Julia made the decision to further her education and began to research schools. Julia decided on MiraCosta College without even stepping foot on campus. “I chose MiraCosta because it had a prettier website and was easier to maneuver than other schools. I’m so glad I chose it, because MiraCosta has turned out to be all kinds of awesome.”
Before attending MiraCosta College, Julia had never been to a public school. “Because I had never been in a formal classroom setting, I had no idea what to expect.” Julia says. “Initially I overestimated what was expected of me in school and over-delivered. It worked out well, but now I am much more comfortable as a student and am not constantly freaking out over assignments.”
One of the biggest differences Julia experienced was formal grading. “There is no grading curve when you are homeschooling, so it was a confidence booster to receive formal grades. Getting my first A+ on an assignment felt really good. It encouraged me to pursue academic excellence. It made everything seem worth it. Overall, my first semester was a great experience."
During her time at MiraCosta College, Julia has become a member of the Honors Scholar Program and won the school’s highest academic award, the Medal of Honor. Julia attributes much of her academic success at MiraCosta College to the Honors Scholar Program. “Everything it has to offer continually exceeds my expectations. Christopher Sleeper (the honors program coordinator) is a god among men.”
As a member of the Honors Scholar Program, Julia was given the opportunity to present her original research at the Honors Transfer Council of California at the University of California, Irvine and Berkeley. “The symposium was like a vacation, while you bettered yourself. It was an amazing opportunity. I used to hate public speaking and would have never thought it was possible to get to a point where I was comfortable presenting in front of people, but my advisers, Lynne Miller and Bob Turner, helped me get to a place where I wasn’t nervous.”
Along with the Honors Scholar Program, Julia has also been involved with MiraCosta College’s Chariot newspaper as the assistant art director and columnist for the opinion pieces. “Working on the Chariot was hard work, but I have never laughed as hard with a group of people, trying to get the paper out on Thursday nights.”
In the fall semester of 2012, Julia will attend the University of California, Santa Barbara. When asked about the transfer process, Julia said, “I am really obsessive compulsive, and I love forms. I figured out a lot of the information I needed to transfer myself, but I still went to see Lise and Jed at the Transfer Center. Every time I went in they gave me insight about what I needed to do for transfer success -- I would recommend that any student take advantage of the Transfer Center. Having a screwed up schedule or taking classes you didn’t need is one of the worst feelings a student can have,” says Julia.
As Julia embarks on the next step in her academic journey, she will always remember her time at MiraCosta College. “This school has absolutely stellar professors, an amazing honors program, and you are given everything you need to succeed here. You can’t beat that!”