Nontraditional Student is a People Connector at Compton College

Nontraditional Student is a People Connector at Compton College

Compton College student Skyy Sorrell has discovered her purpose; she is a natural people connector. “My journey in life has shown me that what feels good to me is helping people,” she said. Wherever I am, if I see someone who might benefit from a connection to a resource, I provide contact information to an organization or person who can help. I enjoy ensuring people are taken care of and receiving available resources to help them.”

A Compton native and single mother, Sorrell is on track to graduate with an associate degree from Compton College in fall 2024 and plans to transfer to California State University, Dominguez Hills, to major in business administration and psychology. In the future, she sees herself pursuing a career as either a college counselor or owning a counseling practice to help foster and at-risk youth, as well as those whose families have experienced incarceration. “I want to share how I have navigated from the same situations they are into where I am today,” Sorrell said.

She is active on campus, having served as president of the award-winning F.I.S.T. Club (Formerly Incarcerated Students in Transition) for the past two years. She has helped increase club membership. She is also a student worker in the Student Equity office. “As a peer mentor, I’m like ‘Siri’ for all students. Every student is unique, and that is how I like to approach each individual I assist,” she said. “I want to help students get from point A to point B by the fastest and safest route.”

Sorrell’s journey to get to where she is today was filled with many obstacles and barriers. However, she never gave up. As the saying goes, “third time’s a charm.” After enrolling in Compton College as a Lynwood High School graduate in 2002, then again in 2016, her admission in 2021 brings a different result. “This time, I came back with a game face and a plan,” she said. “This time around, I was determined to take full advantage of every resource I qualified for, and that has been the drive and benefit that has kept me going.”

All the resources Compton College offers have genuinely helped Sorrell succeed in her current educational journey. “Compton College has prepared me in so many different ways – I’m so grateful for all of the resources and student services I have benefitted from and the programs I am part of,” she said. “The Special Resource Center, offering disabled student programs and services, has taught me patience and time management; the state-funded CalWORKs and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) programs have taught me different communication skills and how to have a positive mindset. For me, growing up in Compton had a lot of negative undertones. Compton College helped change my mindset.”

She is a “part of everything on campus.” Sorrell was elected to the Associated Student Government and holds the position of environmental commissioner. She is a member of the LGBTQ+ and Men of Color clubs. Currently, she is completing a fellowship in the College Corps program, which gives students a pathway to serve their communities while earning money to help pay for college. College Corps fellows complete 450 service hours and receive stipends. When completing her service hours, Sorrell takes her children with her so they can learn the importance of giving back to the community. All of this, and she still finds time for balance and to enjoy her favorite pastime, which is to go to the beach and listen to music, giving her a sense of calm and relaxation.

She advises others to come to check out Compton College in person because she knows that self-doubt can often be strong. “As soon as you step on campus, self-doubt begins to melt away,” she said. “So much is offered here; there is no way you would feel like you don’t fit in.”

What does Sorrell like best about attending Compton College?

“Compton College feels like home to me,” said Sorrell. “What I mean by this is you are not a number at Compton College; you are a name, a face, you’re a person. After only a few interactions with staff and faculty, they start calling you by your first name and that makes you feel good! It makes you feel like you belong.”