During my one and a half years at the New College Institute (NCI), my perspective of education has changed drastically. Originally, I was eager to leave home and begin my post-secondary educational career, and I attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on the main campus in Richmond, VA in the fall of 2012. However, I felt out of place because I loved being at home, so I left VCU after only one semester. Once I returned home and attended Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) in the spring of 2013, I learned that I was able to finish my Bachelor’s degree with VCU through NCI. Fortunately, I have been blessed with many wonderful staff members, instructors, and classmates at NCI who have helped me in my efforts to finish my degree. Because NCI empowered me to “Stay close and go far,” I know I have the skills and determination to succeed in life, and I can confidently say that I have made the most out of my time with NCI. As a result of my time with the New College Institute, I will graduate this spring from VCU with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and I will continue my education by going to law school this fall.