Johnson County Community College is a great place for students to begin their educational journey – and sometimes, revisit it. Alum Stormi Lewis is a testament to both. She credits JCCC with turning her dreams into several successful careers.
Passion pays off
Lewis’ first experience at JCCC earned her a degree in American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting in 2002. Degree in hand, she decided to pursue two of her passions – interpreting and dance – in fabulous Las Vegas. She spent her days interpreting in hospitals and schools, and her nights dancing in professional shows alongside celebrities.
She also began working in marketing around the time social media started gaining popularity. “Because of my interpreting experience, I was skilled at teaching others how to communicate using ASL. I translated those skills to teach people how to communicate and treat others on social media,” she says about combining the two careers.
Although she considered herself a marketing professional, she found it difficult to land a marketing position without a degree. “I didn’t have the confidence like I did in dance and interpreting,” Lewis says. She decided to remedy that roadblock by returning to JCCC. “There wasn’t even a second thought!” she says.
After an eight-year career as a nationally certified interpreter, Lewis earned an associate degree in marketing management from JCCC in 2017. “JCCC has always been my proudest accomplishment,” she says, “which is why I returned a second time.” She went on to graduate from Park University with a bachelor’s degree one year later.
Instilling confidence through education
As Lewis continues to live out her dreams, she looks back with appreciation at the education she received at JCCC. “Second time around, I was a 35-year-old building a business. JCCC encouraged and inspired me to keep going.”
For Lewis, these dreams continued to grow and expand as she pursues new passions. What started as a blogging hobby while at JCCC turned into a book, which she wrote during spring break right before graduation. One book became four and Lewis is now a twice published author in the nonfiction genre. Her list of best-sellers can be found on Amazon and includes a thriller-mystery trilogy and stories of overcoming everyday challenges. She also helps new authors find their voice in her podcast Bookish Chatter.
Lewis plans to continue writing books, coaching authors and helping others follow their dreams. Just like she was encouraged to do — not once, but twice — at JCCC.
Your tomorrow starts here
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