Rachel Carver

Designing her career path

Rachel Carver made her career choice as a pre-teen, and she’s wasting little time getting hands-on training in her chosen field.

“I chose my career at age 12,” Carver said. “I met an artist/jewelry designer during a trip to Ireland, and I have loved jewelry making ever since. He was the person who piqued my interest, and I’ve never changed my mind. My hope is to become a self-employed silversmith and open my own studio or operate out of my own house.”

Carver is fulfilling general education requirements at JCCC that will transfer to the University of Kansas to finish a bachelor’s degree in metalsmithing/jewelry. She’s receiving an added bonus, though, in taking JCCC classes specific to her field.

“JCCC has wonderful metal and silversmithing classes through the fine arts department that are great stepping stones to further my education in this area,” she said.

‘Most viable option’

“I knew that right out of high school going to a four-year college was not an option for me because of how much my parents had spent to send me to a private high school. Community college was my most viable option. I wanted affordable general education classes, but when I found out I could also enroll in silversmithing classes right out of high school it made all the difference.”

Declaring JCCC as her college choice as a junior in high school paid good dividends for Carver. It allowed her to become more familiar with the college and all that it offers incoming students. She applied for and is the recipient of the JCCC Foundation’s President’s Scholarship.

“For me, receiving the JCCC scholarship was an absolute blessing,” she said. “My parents paid thousands of dollars to send my brother and me to a private high school, and figuring out how to get money for college was a little difficult.

“The scholarship is paying for some of my college here, and it allows my parents to use the money they would have had to find for my college education for other things around the house and for the family.”

‘Instructors are really involved’

Carver graduated from Maranatha Academy with 49 people in her graduating class. She said the change to having so many people around her in an education setting ended up being a good experience despite her initial apprehension.

Looking back on her high school environment and now thinking of what she’s experiencing at JCCC, Carver said, “I definitely enjoy all the college instructors. They are wonderful. I have not had a bad professor since I’ve been at JCCC. Instructors here are really involved with the student base and the college. They are all inspirational. I’ve loved every moment I’ve been here.”

What makes JCCC instructors special? Carver said JCCC faculty members care about the students, and they are engaging.

“That wasn’t the perception I had of college instructors when I left high school,” Carver said. “JCCC instructors are passionate about what they are teaching. Granted, some subjects are not every student’s favorite, but I’d say having a teacher who is passionate about the subject helps the student enjoy the class a little bit better.”