February 2, 2023
Tallahassee Community College sophomore Tommy McCall has been named a 2023 DREAM Scholar by Achieving the Dream. McCall is the first student to receive this recognition at Tallahassee Community College.
Each year, Achieving the Dream selects eight community college students to participate in an immersive learning experience at DREAM, their annual convening. Chosen through a rigorous application process, DREAM Scholars are outstanding students with diverse stories who bring their voices center stage and learn alongside higher education leaders throughout the conference.
This year’s DREAM Scholars have all been told stories at some point in their lives – whether by family members, peers, teachers, or societal expectations – that they were not meant for higher education. But they are each determined to write a different story.
As a freshman in high school, Tommy was diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. The condition caused multiple recurrent seizures throughout adolescence and affected his speech. Tommy’s self-esteem took a hit, and he felt robbed of his independence during a time in life when his peers were beginning to find theirs. During his senior year, the Tallahassee native opted to enroll in Tallahassee Community College to stay closer to home. He applied for and was accepted to TCC’s Scholar program, an opportunity that allowed him to get an early start by attending classes over the summer. In addition to being paired with a mentor, he earned a scholarship for the program courses.
"I am extremely honored to be chosen as a Dream Scholar,” said McCall. “I appreciate the opportunity to share my story. Many people see epilepsy as a curse, but it gave me an opportunity to go above and beyond and exceed the expectations of others."
For Tommy, TCC is an environment where he can thrive. He is a member of the Honors Program and Black Male Achievers, and is currently president of the student government association where he is working to build and develop the college’s clubs and association to foster a sense of belonging for more students on campus.
“We are so proud that Tommy has been selected as one of only eight DREAM Scholars this year from colleges across the country,” said Dr. Sheri Rowland, Vice President for Student Affairs at TCC. “He is an impressive young man and I am excited for him to share his story on a national stage. Tommy exemplifies the value and importance of community colleges and their impact on student success.”
About Achieving the Dream
Achieving the Dream is a partner and champion of hard working leaders at more than 300 community colleges across the country. The community colleges we work with are distinct: They choose transformation over tradition, curiosity over inaction, innovation over status quo. Drawing on our expert coaches, groundbreaking programs, and national peer network, we build customized growth plans to address the unique challenges each institution faces. We provide institutional leaders, faculty, and staff with actionable solutions grounded in years of experience and the knowledge of what it’s like to be in their shoes.