Full Ride Winner Miranda Simmons reflects on her first semester at RLC and the 'pretty wild' past year

 fullride simmons bigcheck 2021 m

RLC President Terry Wilkerson presents Miranda Simmons of McLeansboro a big check last spring. Simmons was last year's Full Ride winner. "This year has been pretty wild," Simmons said. (Click image for printable photo)


INA, IL (Nov. 17, 2021) – Miranda Simmons is having one of the best years of her life.

Simmons, who is from McLeansboro, was the grand prize winner in last year’s The Full Ride Scholarship where it was advertised that one in-district student will receive a year of free tuition and fees to attend Rend Lake College. During the photo opportunity, RLC President Terry Wilkerson made the announcement to extend the award to cover tuition and fees for two full years.

Simmons had first enrolled at RLC in the early 2000’s, and while the online instruction was not without its adjustments, she is happy to report that her semester back at RLC is “going really well."

“Rend Lake offers a very helpful online tutorial to familiarize yourself with the online learning process, so I caught on quick,” Simmons said. “My teachers have all been so amazing, and I currently have straight A’s after the midterm!"

Simmons decided that she wanted to pursue early childhood education after she received a job at the Hamilton County Preschool and Daycare. She knew she wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of the children.

“I was encouraged by our Principal Christina Epperson to look into furthering my education, and that encouragement really made all the difference in my life,” she said. “Christina believed she saw in me the patience, imagination and love of learning that it takes to be a good teacher, and it gave me the confidence I needed to take the next step.”

Simmons recalled looking into the costs of college on the RLC website when she stumbled upon The Full Ride Contest. She submitted her entry on a whim, thinking it would be fun. She didn’t even think about winning.

“I was actually working and playing in the gym with the kids when someone texted me and said they heard my name on the radio,” Simmons said.

More exciting news was also in store for her in 2021. Earlier this fall, Simmons became engaged and found out she is expecting the arrival of her son William August this spring.

“This past year has been pretty wild!” Simmons said. “One of the best years of my whole life!”

RLC will soon be announcing a new The Full Ride contest, where another lucky contestant will receive their college education. Take a chance and see if RLC can possibly change your life. Visit rlc.edu/fullride for more information.


Simmons and family

The Full Ride winner Miranda Simmons is pictured here with her fiancé Jeremy Owen. Their family also includes children Mat, Ali, Henry, Leo and Georgia Grace. The couple is expecting a new bundle of joy, William August, in spring 2022. They also have three grandchildren: Kane, Cami and Ameliyah. (Click image for printable photo)

Search RLC News Articles

1098T online promo sq

Walk-In & Zoom-In Advisement Appointments for Spring 2022