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Published 10/1/2004

Starting Over: Life Lessons Learned For An Owens Student

Philip Baccus Former financial planner Philip Baccus is attending Owens Community College by mistake. Two years ago, the 25-year-old meant to check the “transient student” box on his Owens application, which states that he would attend the College only temporarily. Instead, he accidentally put a check mark next to the words, “transfer student.” As a result, Baccus today asserts that he could not have made a better mistake and is in pursuit of something always lacking in his life – a college education.

“The nurturing, community environment that Owens offers has helped me make my life’s goals clear and concise,” said Baccus, who resides in Toledo. “I thought I had my life planned out. However, after a simple check mark, I am taking a drastically different path. And this path could not be more enriching.”

Prior to attending Owens as a criminal justice technology major, Baccus was a successful financial planner at Gant Enterprises in Toledo, as well as an ordained minister. However, while taking a few academic classes in his spare time, Baccus increasingly realized his career path had changed and the importance of a college education was now at the forefront. Two years ago, he made the decision to start over.

“Transitioning from the working world into a full-time college student was a very humbling, yet a very worthwhile experience for me,” said Baccus. “At a time when I sold my car, moved back in with my family and took public transportation to school, it was the community- friendly environment at Owens that made me feel comfortable about the decision to attend college.”

A 1997 graduate of Central Catholic High School, Baccus is attending Owens full-time and intends to seamlessly transfer his college credits to the University of Toledo. By December 2005, he anticipates graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and economics.

Currently employed as a student worker in Owens’ International Students Department, Baccus enjoys reaching out to others in his free time. He recently returned from a week in Chicago spent teaching foster children the importance of an education and financial responsibility.

“Phillip’s passion for knowledge and generosity toward others make him an exceptional student, employee and friend,” said Cesar Hernandez, Owens International Students Administrator. “I am proud of his many accomplishments.”

Following in the footsteps of his relatives, Baccus plans to attend law or graduate school and has career aspirations of working for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. His interests lie in investigating corporate fraud. After working in the public sector, Baccus would like to own a private consulting firm that specializes in securities law.

In addition to his dreams, Baccus is determined to continue teaching others what he has learned about the importance of a college education. He envisions conducting workshops at community colleges around the country, providing students with the support, confidence and skills to achieve success inside and outside of the classroom. And with a smile on his face and enthusiasm in his voice, indicating the excitement of a fulfilling future ahead, Baccus states, “I am eager to assist other community college students who have made the decision to pursue new goals and dreams.”

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher education institution in Ohio with 29 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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