The College Connection is usually a life-changing experience for students who complete the program. After 15 weeks of intensive academic preparation, one-on-one academic counseling, college readiness training, guest speakers, and a variety of other types of support, students are prepared to transition to college.

When Frederick J. Fruehan II scheduled an intake last June to enroll in the program, he never dreamed that his experience would end up providing him with a means to achieving publication. Fruehan’s commitment to his education was evident from the start. He was so eager to begin his quest for a higher education that he purchased his books immediately (more than three months prior to the start of classes) so he could study them over the summer.

Once the program began, his exceptional writing talent became a topic of conversation among the staff. His use of language to captivate and engage the reader was incredibly powerful. His talent needed an outlet and an e-mail with a call for articles from The Change Agent, an adult education newspaper for social justice, provided one. Fruehan’s article, “Vietnam: A Life Rewritten,” was accepted for publication and is featured in the March edition.

While in the College Connection, Fruehan summed up his experience best in an essay he wrote for a final exam in his course, “The College Experience: I believe the College Connection has prepared me well for an academic career at UMA.”

“I have been given the tools to perform in a college atmosphere, but more than anything, I have gained a sense of pride that I have never experienced. The work I have done has catapulted my life into a new and exciting world. I have lived a life inspired every day. Since I began my educational journey, I have awakened dreams that have rested dormant for years. I have shed parts of my life that I can never return to. High school dropout, farm worker, and slaughterhouse butcher are a few of the titles I won’t miss. In one semester of College Connection, I have grown comfortably into a bachelor of arts English student, a published writer and a lifelong learner.”

The College Connection is funded in part by a state grant as well as by local monies from Belfast Adult & Community Education. The program is free but students have to purchase the books needed for their courses. The next semester will begin Sept. 13. Contact Carolyn Haskell at 338-3197 for more information.