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Learning Locally, Lucie Builds Her Skills and Her Community

Our Voices—LucieThe MCTC campus was quiet during finals week before the fall semester ended. Most students had finished their exams and left campus, but Lucie Skjefte was studying late into finals week. “I have my last final on Friday, and then I’m going to take my son to see Santa,” said Lucie.

Lucie felt drawn to MCTC from a young age. “My sister attended college here before I started. Going to MCTC always seemed like the natural thing to do,” she said. One of the biggest draws to the College was United Nations of Indian Tribes for Education (UNITE), MCTC’s Native American student group, and the American Indian Success Program. “When I first started, seeing the success of UNITE students pushed me to work hard and be successful too,” said Lucie. “UNITE is there so students can inspire and encourage one another. It’s there for people to reach out to when they need it.” Lucie is now the president of UNITE.

Before returning to school, Lucie learned she was expecting a baby in 2009. "I knew if I was going to have a child, I'd need to make some changes." Lucie knew she would be the sole parent raising her newborn son, but after being offered housing by a family member, she was able to return to school at MCTC. “Having stable housing meant the world to me. It meant I could finally go back to and focus on school,” said Lucie.

“My son changed everything for me. He inspires me, and he grounds me. I always knew he'd be my rock.”

As soon as Lucie returned to school, she excelled academically. “I’ve always been one to build a foundation,” she said. “I took some great fundamental classes, and eventually determined my passion and skills intersected at Graphic Design. That’s where I excelled.” In 2011 Lucie joined the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and this spring, she will graduate from MCTC with A.A.S degrees and certificates in both Graphic Design: Print Media and Graphic Design: Web and Interactive Media.

Lucie decided to finish her studies at MCTC and transfer. “My instructors and my advisor encouraged me to reach beyond my comfort level, and that encouragement was all I needed,” said Lucie. “I considered several out-of-state Ivy League schools, but Minneapolis has a great art community. I decided I really wanted to stay local.”

Shortly before the new year, Lucie received her acceptance letter to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), and a pleasant surprise. “Along with my acceptance letter I learned I’d be getting a $15,000 Presidential Merit Scholarship to MCAD.” Lucie’s ultimate goal is to teach the topics she loves and at which she excels. “I want to be able to give back everything I’ve learned about art and design, and to inspire my community.”


Published December 2013

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