JAMESTOWN – Balanced people have often found energetic balance in body, mind and spirit.
SUNY Jamestown Community College has this in sophomore Hannah Hicks. A native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Hicks was drafted into the JCC for her basketball prowess. She began her studies as a business major, then joined the careers community of society and human expression.
“I’m more free and able to do the things I love,” Hicks shares. “Actually, I dive into animation. I’m learning a new program called Blender. Last year I took Photoshop and 3D art. I like art!”
The choice to move from her business major to the Society and Human Expression career community was not made lightly. Hicks worried that he wouldn’t be able to graduate on a typical two-year trajectory.
The freedom of expression she gained and her ability to pursue more practical studies ultimately made her choice worthwhile.
Everyone’s path is different, Hicks thought. “Especially me with basketball – taking the JUCO (junior college) route. I had D1 schools watching me when I was in high school, but I feel like God was working for me the whole time. this process. It made me grow as a player and a student. My grades are much, much better.
As a high school student, Hicks could have gone to other colleges on basketball scholarships. She chose JCC, originally at her mother’s insistence. Of Hicks’ choices, it was among the closest to home, and her mother was happy with the school’s handling of the pandemic.
“I’m really happy to have come here. Ohio is fun, but I want to explore the world!” said Hicks, who says she has D1 schools interested in having her play basketball for them when she’s ready to transfer.
Hicks’ passion for working with her hands is evident in the project she sets up: a long strip of chicken wire to which she has so far added more than 70 handmade pastel tissue paper flowers. hand. It will eventually cascade down the wall of the art studio on campus.
As she continues to make more flowers, Hicks shares that while she loves all of her art classes, Portfolio is her favorite. “I can do graphic design, interior design, Photoshop – anything I can do, I can create. Right now, I’m learning how to animate a donut. It may sound easy, but it’s not. I’m going step by step and learning along the way.
Hicks appreciates the variety of perspectives and creativity she finds in her instructor and fellow students, saying “if you’re an art student, come to JCC!”
Anyone interested in the college is invited to attend the Spring 2022 Remaining Open House event scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the college’s Cattaraugus County campus in Olean.
Hicks continued, “Our art teacher is wonderful! She is an artist herself. I love her because she is still exploring. There are so many different projects and so many different minds. That’s one thing I really love about art. There are so many different and amazing spirits.
In addition to being an instructor for the Society Careers and Human Expression community, Madison Lavallee is the Arts and Gallery Outreach Coordinator for JCC.
“It’s my freshman year at JCC, and because of students like Hannah, coming to work doesn’t always feel like ‘work,'” Lavallee said. “I had the pleasure of working with Hannah for two semesters. Hannah is an innovative problem solver, she approaches complex projects with an open and determined mind. She has a bright future, both on and off the basketball court.
“Hannah and her peers have helped make the Art and Design Studio an inviting space on campus where students, faculty, and staff feel welcome. Our program supports original ideas, encourages collaboration, and helps students find their creative voice personality.
Hicks plans to get her real estate license this summer in hopes of also getting into interior design and working with her mother and brother. She appreciates the cost savings of attending community college and her attention turns to the word “community.”
“I’m often in the newspapers for basketball, and people in the community will give me the thumbs up,” Hicks shares. “That’s one thing I really like about Jamestown. It’s a family here. I did not encounter any bad situation. It’s been nothing but good and positivity.
Hicks says a teacher brought him a newspaper clipping that featured her. It meant so much to her that she framed it and hung it in her dorm. She often plays pickup games with members of the community early in the morning and loves to hear them say they’ll be at her game.
“It’s the little interactions that you keep for a lifetime,” she said.
In a short time, Hicks acquired a wealth of experience and wisdom. From sports to education to career paths, she encourages everyone to stay true to themselves and their unique vision.
“Don’t give up on your dreams,” she said. “Whatever you have in mind, do it. Because if you don’t, who will? There is only one you. So be unique to yourself, because no one can be you, and if they try, they still aren’t you! Take it step by step, little by little, and your time will come.