For many high school graduates, the journey to college is an exciting yet daunting one. Choosing the right path can be challenging, and financial considerations often play a pivotal role. For Max Czellecz, CT State Middlesex (formerly Middlesex Community College) became his choice, offering not only a cost-effective education but also a supportive environment for academic growth.
A 2022 graduate of Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham, Max had discovered the increasing importance of a college degree in today’s competitive job market.
“I knew I wanted to go to college around my junior year because I realized that many options now require a college degree,” said Max.
His journey to Middlesex began long before he enrolled as a student. The college had been a part of his life when his father served as a security guard, and Max attended the college’s former preschool program.
“I chose Middlesex for one reason. Money. I couldn’t justify going somewhere to get my prerequisites done when I could do it at Middlesex for free,” he stated.
Not content with just attending classes, Max is working two part-time jobs while pursuing his education. One of these jobs, at a local orchard, allows him to apply his marketing skills.
“I work at an orchard and help run their events and help with their digital marketing,” Max explained. “I want to be a marketing major because I just find it fascinating what goes into it. I’ve seen some of the commercials and ads in the world and I have thought I could do so much better.”
His experiences at Middlesex have been enhanced with positive interactions with dedicated faculty.
“I don’t really have a favorite class, to be honest, but I have had a great experience with teachers at Middlesex. Two teachers I have had a great experience with are Professor [Sarah] Leone and [Honors Faculty Advisor] Emily Canto,” he said.
Despite Max’s aversion to math, Professor Leone’s teaching ability and support made a significant difference for him. “She is a great person and helped me so much when it came to the classes I’ve taken with her,” he said.
Emily Canto played a pivotal role in his involvement in the Honors Program. “Canto has helped me become more involved on campus and with general life and future options,” he noted.
Not content with being just a student, Max was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, initially with little expectation but soon became their public relations officer.
“I joined PTK for the scholarship opportunities and for my resume. I initially joined with absolutely no intention of doing anything when I was in it, but that changed when I saw the opportunities that came with it,” Max recalled.
Max is among 213 national PTK members named 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars. He will receive a $1,000 scholarship to help defray educational expenses.
“There is one person I would like to thank in particular, and that is former PTK President Olivia Merlini. She told me to apply for the scholarship, and I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for her,” Max acknowledged.
With this scholarship, Max plans to take his next steps in college, leading to a future filled with potential.
In addition to his involvement in PTK, Max co-founded the Business Club at Middlesex and currently serves as its vice president. He is also the public relations officer for the Student Senate.
CT State Middlesex has not only provided Max with a cost-effective education but has also empowered him to become a proactive leader. He is an inspiring example of how dedication, a supportive community, and taking advantage of opportunities can lead to a brighter future.