Student Stories: Destiny Belzey

Destiny Belzey

Major: Early Childhood Education and Care

Destiny Belzey knew since kindergarten that she wanted to become a preschool teacher.

“As I got older, I started working at summer camps and helping out in kindergarten classrooms, and that’s when I really became interested in teaching,” she said.

Scholarships at COD

Belzey chose College of DuPage because she liked the idea of staying close to home while completing credits that would transfer to a four-year university. In addition, she appreciated how cost-effective COD was and then received several scholarships through the COD Foundation—the Helen Gum Westlake Memorial scholarship, Esther Rowe Dodge scholarship and Earl E. and Theresa L. Dowling scholarship. These allowed her to help pay for tuition and books as she completed her coursework.

While at COD, Belzey took advantage of available resources such as the Learning Commons, which provides a variety of academic services. She also became involved with the Honors Program, working in the program’s office—which helped her strengthen her human relations skills—and becoming vice president of the Honors Student Advisory Committee (HSAC).

My Honors courses allowed me to gain a better connection with my peers and professors as they were smaller classes than normal.

Destiny Belzey

“My Honors courses allowed me to gain a better connection with my peers and professors as they were smaller classes than normal,” she said. “I also presented at the Illinois Community College Faculty Association conference with several peers on what HSAC did during the pandemic and how we stayed connected during this difficult time. This conference gave me the chance to practice my public speaking skills, which I will use greatly in my career.”

Honors Program at COD

Belzey transferred to Lewis University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Her plan is to earn a doctorate degree and teach in a school of need.

“I have always loved being able to help others, and to work with low-income families and schools that don't have the money or resources for supplies would help me fulfill this dream,” she said.

As for COD, she advises students to enjoy every moment and to ask for help, as someone is always willing to answer their questions.

“Take up as many opportunities as you can because the time goes by so fast,” she said. “COD had many options as to when I could take my classes that would work around my personal schedule. I also loved all the clubs and organizations they had to offer because this helped me meet some great people and get involved on campus.”

Learn more about the Early Childhood Education and Care program at College of DuPage