Diego Gonzalez is the latest recipient of the prestigious Century Scholarship presented by the Kankakee Community College Foundation.

The scholarship covers all costs and is funding Gonzalez’ goal of earning the degree necessary to become a physical therapist.

Before coming to KCC, Gonzalez attended Kankakee High School. During his time there, he would hear fellow students discussing multiple options regarding where they would enroll in college. Partly because of economic factors, Gonzalez had one option: KCC.

Instead of lamenting the lack of variety, he seized the lone opportunity available. He then succeeded well enough to land the coveted scholarship. With such a fine academic track record now in place, his options will no doubt expand when he decides upon a four-year school.

We say bravo to Gonzalez and encourage any current high school senior in a similar situation to take into account the situation he faced a few years ago. While there are dozens of other colleges statewide, and many more beyond Illinois’ borders, KCC should never be considered a last resort.

Since its inception 50-plus years ago, KCC has educated men and women who have gone on to be leaders and difference makers in their respective fields locally, as well as nationwide and even worldwide. Any claim that is second-rate or “a glorified high school’’ is baseless.

If it is your only option, take it and run with it like Gonzalez did. With dedication and hard work, you will place yourself on a proven path toward success.

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