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June 22, 2021

JCCC helps alum author hit “publish” on her dreams

Stormi Lewis knows she’s fortunate to be following her dreams, doing work she loves. But she credits Johnson County Community College (JCCC) for helping her focus, gain confidence and turn those dreams into several successful careers.

Passion Pays Off

Lewis is a multi-published author on Amazon and coaches others to share their stories with the goal of changing lives. She graduated from JCCC in 2002 with a degree in American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting. After getting her degree, she headed to Las Vegas to combine two of her passions — interpreting and dance — to interpret in hospitals and schools during the day and dance in professional shows with celebrities at night.

“JCCC changes lives. I found structure and success at this college, which gave me confidence to venture into the world.”
 – Stormi L., JCCC graduate and author

She eventually began working in marketing at about the time social media emerged. “Because of my interpreting experience, I was skilled at teaching others how to communicate using ASL. I translated those skills to teaching people how to communicate and treat others on social media,” she says about combining two careers into one.

She had been a nationally certified interpreter for eight years when she returned to JCCC in 2017 to get a degree in marketing management. “JCCC has always been my proudest accomplishment,” she says, “which is why I returned a second time!”

Instilling Confidence

Although she worked in marketing and helped people navigate social media, it was difficult to get that elusive marketing title without a degree. “I didn’t have the confidence like I did in dance and interpreting,” Lewis says.

Her first thought to remedy the situation was to go to JCCC. “There wasn’t even a second thought!” she says with a laugh. Lewis completed an associate degree in marketing management at JCCC and because she was intentional about taking every course she could at the College, she was able to graduate from Park University with a bachelor’s degree one year later.

As Lewis lives out the dreams JCCC helped her launch, she appreciates the educational value she received from start to finish. “Second time around, I was a 35-year-old building a business. The College encouraged and inspired me to keep going.”

The blog she started while at JCCC became a book, which she wrote during spring break right before she graduated. One book became four. Then she turned her writing and publishing experience into coaching and consulting.

Lewis plans to continue writing books, coaching authors and sharing with others the gift of following their dreams, as she was encouraged to do — not once, but twice — at JCCC.

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