Kervin Thomas's Journey From Starting Over to Gaining Success at RVC

Kervin Thomas's journey to the United States from Grenada was marked by challenges, but his determination to start over led him to RVC where he found a path to his dreams.



Kervin Thomas graduated from RVC on Friday, May 17, 2024.

Arriving in the U.S., Kervin faced a daunting obstacle: his school records were lost to fire and hurricanes, leaving him unable to prove his high school graduation. Soon he connected with retired professor Pat Young who encouraged him to get his GED here at RVC. Kervin was initially concerned with the cost as other GED programs proved to be very expensive. The registration window was already closed, but Pat figured out a way to get him in the program.

After achieving his GED, Kervin opted to pursue a media production certificate at RVC, driven by his interest in audio and video production, as well as photography. This drive led him to establish his own small business. "I have a podcast production company, a media production company, a small one," he explains. "I collaborate with organizations in the Rockford area, assisting them in starting podcasts and other media ventures. I provide equipment and set up the acoustics for their rooms, all thanks to the skills acquired through my media production certificate. Working alongside instructors such as Dr. Steven Taddei and Kyle Owens for video has been invaluable."

Dr. Taddei reflected on Kervin’s time in the mass communications department. “Kervin is one of those unique individuals who is both selflessly kind and highly talented. He was an insightful student, always willing to learn, and he continues to impress with his personal and professional growth.”

Immersing himself in his studies, Kervin also found a passion in Acoustic Ecology, a field that combined his love for nature and audio production. Classes like Plants and Society and Audio Production fueled his curiosity, while his instructors encouraged his growth.

A highlight of Kervin's academic journey was his independent research project with Dr. Megan Pease, examining the impact of burning on invasive plants like Queen Anne’s Lace. This hands-on experience deepened his understanding and ignited his enthusiasm for environmental science.

“Kervin has an intense curiosity and compelling way to explain things to people. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with him knows his sense of humor keeps the dull moments lively,” said Dr. Pease. “He's a natural leader and teacher. I am aware of his story and am glad to be assisting him in his independent research project about the Queen Anne's lace plant's response to burning prairies to control invasive species. As he takes his next steps away from RVC, I know he'll be successful.”

Looking ahead, Kervin is determined to continue his education, aiming for both an undergraduate degree and a master's degree. With RVC's affordability and extensive scholarship opportunities, he feels confident in his ability to pursue his dreams without the burden of debt.

“RVC has helped in major ways. Firstly, the scholarships offered allowed me to take classes with no worries. Secondly, the hybrid classes allowed me to still work full time and complete my degree.”

Kervin is grateful for the impact RVC has had on his life. From obtaining his GED to clarifying his purpose, the college has provided resources every step of the way. He looks forward to making a positive impact on the world, fueled by the education and support he received at RVC.