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Success Stories

Glen Williams

If there's one thing you'll learn about Glen Williams after a brief conversation it is that he is motivated to try to change the world one person at a time. As the 2013 Olive-Harvey College valedictorian, Williams, 33, earned an Associate of Arts degree in December and a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Currently enrolled at Chicago State University, Williams is majoring in Communications, Media Arts and Theatre and is actively working at WCSU, the University’s radio station. He is also being mentored by Chicago radio pioneer Herb Kent. A graduate of Jones College Prep, Williams served as President of Phi Theta Kappa and was active in a number of campus organizations including activities focused on preventing HIV and violence. Williams says his ultimate goal is to teach Communications and become a motivational speaker because he wants to inspire people to "make valuable contributions to society, our communities and the world."    

Vanita Capitaine     

If someone had to describe the characteristics of Vanita Capitaine, perseverance and determination would easily come to mind.​ Capitaine is another GED to college degree success story. Capitaine, who earned a 3.94 grade point average and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Child Development and Pre-School Education, is the 2013 salutatorian at Olive-Harvey College. As a non-traditional student, Capitaine is one of many City Colleges of Chicago graduates who have made the transition from enrolling in adult education programs to becoming college graduates. A resident of the South Side of Chicago, Capitaine began her educational journey at South Chicago Learning Center, a satellite campus of Olive-Harvey College located at 3055 East 92nd Street, which is dedicated to helping students make the transition from adult basic education to college credit courses and employment. As an adult learner, Capitaine had many challenges to overcome including learning English as a second language. A native of Les Cayes, Haiti, Capitaine moved to the United States in 1994. With the help and support of adult education instructors who helped prepare her to take the GED exam, Capitaine successfully earned her GED in November 2007. The mother of three children, Capitaine is moving ahead with fulfilling her goals to help children. Currently, Capitaine is a teacher’s assistant at an elementary school. She has plans in the future of continuing her education and earning a bachelor’s degree and becoming an entrepreneur by owning a child development center.​ 

Crystal Blalock     

Some might say that Crystal Blalock is an overachiever. Blalock received an Associate's degree in General Studies from Olive-Harvey College. But, as an Army veteran, it hasn't always been an easy road for Blalock to finish. Like most veterans, Blalock’s transition from the battlefield to the classroom has been an uphill battle. After returning home to Chicago in 2006 after serving time in active duty tours including being on the frontlines in Iraq, Blalock had difficulties focusing on her coursework. But, with the help and support of the Veterans Services Center at Olive-Harvey, she was able to work through her challenges and receive support in an environment that is designed to help veterans succeed. Blalock is also working on an Associate’s degree in Science and hopes to finish that coursework during the summer session. After Blalock completes her studies at Olive-Harvey, she plans to transfer to a four-year institution and use her experiences as a soldier to help others who are returning home from the battlefield by eventually becoming a physical therapist. While she admits that she is interested in that career choice because it is a profession in demand which usually pays well, Blalock says that isn’t the only reason. At one time, Blalock says she was on the wrong path and she joined the Army because she needed a second chance. Now, she wants to do the same thing for returning veterans…giving them an opportunity to get well and live a normal life.