MCC student defines leadership

August 2015

Courtney Cook working at a SGA sponsored event.

Mayland Community College transfer student Courtney Cook is no stranger to leadership opportunities. After graduating high school in 2004, Cook joined the United States military, and served almost twelve years as a military police officer. She spent the last eight years of her enlistment as a Non-commissioned officer, becoming a “leader of the troops.” After moving to North Carolina in 2012, she was employed by the State as a correctional officer for almost four years.

After the birth of her daughter, she decided it was time to try a new path, and enrolled at MCC with a goal of going into the education field.

“I chose Mayland’s transfer program because I want to be an educator and this program allows me to earn credits that transfer so I can continue my education,” said Cook. 

“Mayland is less expensive, less stressful, and closer to home for me.”

Cook does not stop at the classroom. She is currently the Student Government Association’s President, represents the SGA on the MCC Board of Trustees and Foundation Board, serves as a Student Ambassador, works as a tutor, and is helping organize a new theatre club for students.

She describes her work as a student leader as an attempt to continue student excitement toward projects and events She engages her fellow students through surveys and making an effort to bring their suggestions to life.

“Through the direction of numerous college initiatives, development and guidance of student activities and groups, and collaboration with other student organizations, under my leadership, the MCCSGA has been able to influence students’ ideals and host events that have left a positive impression on the college,” said Cook. “It’s about life experiences – you learn and grow and experience things when you are around other people, and I don’t’ want school to be just about the textbooks. Getting involved in extracurricular activities gives me a sense of accomplishment and improves self-confidence.”

As a student leader, she has further developed her leadership and multi-tasking skills as well as enhanced her interpersonal communication with faculty, students, and the community. Cook does the extra activities in addition to being a full-time student, and taking care of her family.

“You can accomplish the goals you have, you just have to try hard,” said Cook. “It is really about digging in a going for it. I feel like if I make impact here, it will have a rippling effect on other people and they will want to make positive impact on others too. It is why I want to go into the education field. 

Cook describes MCC as an incredible institution that provides many opportunities for its students.

“I’ve been to other schools and I sat in classrooms where I felt like I was just a number, but that is not the case at Mayland,” said Cook. “Everyone here is very accepting and supportive.”