Chesney Eschbach named winner of Paul Simon Student Essay Contest at Kish College

Chesney Eschbach was named the winner of Kishwaukee College’s 2023 Paul Simon Student Essay Contest. Eschbach was recognized at the April meeting of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees and is pictured between Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College, and Bob Johnson, Chair, Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees.

Chesney Eschbach has been selected as Kishwaukee College’s winner of the 2023 Paul Simon Student Essay Contest, where she described “How Kishwaukee College Changed My Life.”

Eschbach, a DeKalb resident originally from Decatur, received a $500 scholarship from Kish for the Spring 2023 semester and was recognized with a certificate of achievement at the April Board of Trustees meeting. Eschbach’s entry was forwarded to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) for entry into the statewide Paul Simon Student Essay competition.

In her essay titled “The Path of Opportunity,” Eschbach reflects on the welcoming environment she experienced while attending Kish and how the community college experience can be beneficial for any situation.

“Community college is for the people who want to give further education a chance, no matter their current state. Community college is for everyone, and after my experience, I know that community college is for me,” Eschbach wrote in her essay.

When crafting her essay, Eschbach said she saw the prompt as an opportunity to share her appreciation for the faculty and staff members who helped her through her first year at Kish.

“I love Kishwaukee and all of my teachers, and I felt like I needed to share that with others and show my thanks to those who have helped me this year,” Eschbach said. “I hope people take what I have to say to heart and don't view community college as lesser because every aspect it provides is rewarding, and you will leave feeling confident, successful, and prepared.”

Following the spring semester, Eschbach said she plans to transfer from Kish to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she will major in animal science with a concentration on companion animal management. She plans to pursue a career in training service dogs or an agriculture-related field.

To read Eschbach’s essay in its entirety, visit