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ECC gave Keissami a future

Mike-Keissami

Life was great for Mike Keissami in 1978. At the time, he was studying abroad in Chicago from his native country, Iran, with the financial support of his employer. Then the Iran Revolution occurred and he soon became a victim of its repercussions.

Shut off from his home country and faced with frozen bank accounts and a halted education, Keissami's future seemed bleak until his brother-in-law encouraged him to come to Elgin to attend Elgin Community College. He worked nights to make ends meet and attended classes on very little sleep. Graduating in 1981, Keissami credits ECC with giving him the confidence to find a job and re-establish himself.

“I loved this school and was happy to be taking classes here,” he said. “Everything was beautiful. The staff was great. ECC changed my life.”

Keissami still touts the college for changing his life 35 years later. Not only was he able to find work after attending ECC, but he later opened Larkin Floral and Gifts in Elgin-which he has owned for more than 25 years. In addition to Keissami, three of his four children have attended ECC. One of them, Sarah, also served as student trustee from 2007 to 2008.

“The atmosphere at this school and the mentality of the people here make it a great choice,” he said. “This is the school that will give you the opportunity to succeed.”

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