When Kathleen Matz enrolled at SFCC in fall 2014, she had low expectations for her college experience.
“I had a mindset that I wasn’t going to like it there because I had to live at home; it was too small and all the usual reasons,” she says. “I didn’t get involved. I didn’t do anything, so I didn’t like it. Fortunately, that didn’t last long.”
Matz, 21, who has been singing since eighth grade and taking voice lessons since eleventh, soon found herself in Chamber Choir and Jazz Choir. Her involvement snowballed from there to All-Collegiate Honor Choir, the Student Ambassadors program and eventually the Service, Learning and Leadership program that culminated in a tour of Europe.
“I definitely made most of my friends in my activities,” she says. “I don’t know how many people don’t like it here because they don’t get involved. It’s so easy. Just do stuff!”
Now double-majoring in Opera Performance and Hospitality Management at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Matz is thankful for SFCC’s close-knit, supportive environment and the growth it fostered during her two years in the Music Arts program.
“I had so many more opportunities at State Fair than I would have gotten if I’d started at Mizzou. You can really shine there,” she says.
For Matz, having a solid support system in both her teachers and her family has made all the difference as she continues her education.
“Opera is scary,” she says with a laugh. “For most kids, they have a big dream, but their parents don’t encourage them to go for it. My mom pushed me to [study Opera Performance]. She believes in me.”
As Matz enters her final year at Mizzou and begins to consider master’s programs across the nation, she looks back at SFCC with gratitude, not only for the knowledge she gained inside the classroom but also for the experiences outside the classroom.
“I would not change anything,” she says, “I grew so much as a person. Everything you do, if you have a positive attitude and a great mindset, can be a great experience.”
Story by Jackson Ingram
Summer 2017 Communications Intern
Marketing and Communications