Pedro Hall named winner of Kish College Paul Simon Student Essay Contest

Pedro Hall was named the winner of Kishwaukee College’s 2024 Paul Simon Student Essay Contest. Hall was recognized at the April meeting of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees and is pictured with Bob Johnson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College.

Pedro Hall was selected as Kishwaukee College’s winner of the 2024 Paul Simon Student Essay Contest, where he described “How Kishwaukee College Changed My Life.”

Hall, a Sycamore resident, received a scholarship for the Spring 2024 semester and was recognized with a certificate of achievement at the April Board of Trustees meeting. Hall’s entry was forwarded to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) for entry into the statewide Paul Simon Student Essay competition.

In his essay, Hall reflects on how Kishwaukee College provided the opportunity for him to revisit his goal of pursuing higher education after a 15-year hiatus due to life obstacles.

“I took a picture holding a sign that read, ‘First Day of School! ¡Primer día de clases! Kishwaukee College, Malta, IL. #estudiandoporunsueño #gokougars!’ In the background, a frame read, ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted.’ This picture paints a summary of how that day was the beginning of my dream of obtaining a doctorate degree in education. One day I will, and when I do, I will always remember that it all began with an opportunity given at Kishwaukee College,” Hall wrote in his essay.

When crafting his essay, Hall said he received encouragement from multiple Kish instructors and saw the prompt as an opportunity to pass along further inspiration.

“I hope the people who read my essay enjoy it and remember that it is never too late to work toward our goals regardless of how old the goal is or how old we are,” Hall said. “Perhaps it wasn't your time then, but it may be now. Do a life assessment and see if now the time is right. If it is not, don't give up on your dream. Wait, because your time will come. For me, this is my time, and I am elated to go full force in the pursuit of my lifelong dream.”

Hall plans to graduate from Kish in May with an Associate in Science degree. Following Kish, he plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree before obtaining a doctoral degree in education. Hall intends to work in Special Education after completing his academic journey.

To read Hall’s essay in its entirety, visit