Community college was not an option for Sheena Prindle.

“Growing up in the Philippines, the public education there was so substandard compared to the United States,” Prindle explained. “Public education in general there had a terrible reputation and was not something to aspire to.”

Her typical elementary classes were often overflowing with far too many students compared to teachers and not enough equipment, with two or three students sharing an outdated computer. It wasn’t until friends and family in the U.S. encouraged her to consider Collin College that she gave community college a second look.

“Because of my educational experiences when I was younger, I was skeptical of community college. When I first started attending Collin College, I walked through the doors, very scared, insecure and unsure of whether or not I could do it,” Prindle remembered. “Collin College and college organizations like the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society let me discover what I really had in me and what I could do.”

Right off the bat, Prindle started coming out of her shell through her classes, especially drama. She joined Phi Theta Kappa with goals of strengthening skills but found so much more.

“I have always been so shy and my communication skills were horrible,” Prindle said. “Being involved in Phi Theta Kappa forced me to develop my skills. I was able to attend leadership workshops and become a leader myself.”

Her hard work has paid off, as Prindle served as the vice president of public relations for Phi Theta Kappa and she has worked on various committees, including the upcoming Collin College Golf Tournament benefiting scholarships. In addition she’s received numerous distinguished honors such as being named a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. She received the distinction from a pool of more than 1,700 applicants. She is also a Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Scholarship recipient.

Prindle has worked with local nonprofits such as Hope’s Door, Honors in Action, various Phi Theta Kappa initiatives, and the Collin College Foundation and says that learning doesn’t end in the classroom.

“To me, a very important part of my education is giving back and trying to give back from what I was given,” she said. “Working with the college and local nonprofits to help the community put together projects really gives me a sense of purpose.”

Now attending Southern Methodist University, Prindle is majoring in accounting with the hopes of starting her own nonprofit one day.

“Now that I have more confidence and belief in myself, I would love to establish a nonprofit that helps underprivileged children and women who have been abused,” Prindle said. “I love learning how I can handle a situation and sympathize with people who have difficult situations.”

In the midst of all of her community service and academic accomplishments, Prindle takes pride in taking full loads of classes while managing a family. She says that she would not have been able to accomplish her goals without a strong support system from family, friends and the college.

“Now, I take my son with me to meetings and volunteer events a lot so he learns the importance of serving others,” Prindle said. “He’s helped with a charity golf tournament and it is so important that he sees why donating and volunteering is critical to society and that even the younger generations see how they can affect change.”

For more information about the Collin College Foundation and scholarship opportunities, visit www.collin.edu/foundation