The Collegian Staff

Ambition. The word strikes up images of runners, teachers, soldiers and politicians, but one of the most ambitious groups on the planet is a culmination of all: students. Students, especially college and above, continuously push themselves in their everyday lives to be better, achieve their goals and ultimately cross that finish line of graduation.

None is more true than for the students of Lorain County Community College who continue to bring new insights and opportunities to the community and beyond. From the nursing program to the Star police academy, LCCC students have continued to push barriers and make history.

According to data collected by the college, nearly 52% of all students at LCCC enroll in the University Partnership program adding to the college’s goal of reaching 10,000 degrees by 2025. This push for graduation and degrees shows the ambition that many students have. But those are just the numbers, what about the students?

Mary Abfall, a first-year nursing student in LCCC’s program, had always dreamed of becoming a nurse. “I knew when I was little that I wanted to be a nurse, but life had other plans for me first.” Choosing what she deems, a “fun career” first, Abfall went into the airline industry traveling the world, but still something felt like it was missing.

“While in the career, I started a family and that kind of pushed the dream a bit farther away, but I knew I would eventually need to be making more money so I didn’t let go of it,” she says.

During the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Abfall saw firsthand the need for nurses. Working as an aide in the hospitals she recalls not being able to do much, despite seeing the desperate help they needed. “I didn’t like just sitting around, I knew I needed to do much more and so I kind of just jumped right in,” she says.

Now in her first round of clinicals this year, Abfall says the experience has been very rewarding. “I found that window of opportunity with my two daughters in high school and son in middle and knew I was ready,” she says. “It was just perfect timing.”

Abfall admits that while she has younger students in her class, she is admired for their persistence. “I don’t think I could have done this when I was 18,” she laughs. “The program is rigorous and I’m not stopping but to see these younger adults also pushing through right by me, it’s amazing.”

Abfall isn’t the only student with high ambitions at LCCC, or the country. On average 1/4 of all college students who begin at a community college go on to a four year institution with 60% of those graduating with their bachelor’s degree or higher.

Ambitious people are always striving to be more and more successful which often pushes them to work harder and be better. “On average, ambitious people attain higher levels of education and income, build more prestigious careers, and report higher overall levels of life satisfaction,” says Neel Burton, psychiatrist and author of “Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions.” “Many of man’s greatest achievements are the products, or accidents, of their ambition.”

But what drives ambition? Well according to Burton, it tends to run in the family. “My parents were very ambitious at my age and so I knew I had to be as well and it all fell into place,” says Nasahlie Nieves, a member of the student senate.

Other factors that push ambition include birth order, ego driven, insecurity, self confidence, desire to be worthy and prove others wrong. And the hard work, even at community colleges, pays off. According to, “85% of millionaires in the United States graduated from college with 62% of that attending public schools including community colleges.”

“I want to prove myself and never give up,” says Alexander Ramirez, a hopeful fashion designer. “ I want to achieve my goal to be successful.”