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60 Years of Stories! Alex Benduski

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Alex Benduski

“It feels very human to have St. Louis residents as your professors. You can always bring up the Cardinals game tomorrow and everyone will be excited – it is nice to have that community. You don’t get that at a big state school. Now that I am at STLCC, it feels a lot more like I am a part of the St. Louis community.”

-- Alex Benduski, STLCC-Forest Park Student

Like many students, after graduating from high school, Alex Benduski struggled to commit to an education or career path. After realizing a four-year university wasn’t a good fit, he found his stride at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.

“It’s been a journey to find my purpose and identify a career I want to pursue,” he said. “I’m thankful for STLCC being there when I needed it and making things so accessible.”

Originally from Creve Coeur, Benduski grew up attending schools in the Ladue School District. After graduating, he left home to attend Indiana University to pursue a bachelor’s degree. But after just one year there, he realized his current path was not right for him.

“I didn’t really have a plan,” he said. “I went to Indiana just for the sake of getting a degree. In a lot of ways, I was just doing what everyone else was doing.”

So Benduski decided to take a break from school.

“I was working hourly jobs in order to make ends meet,” he said. “There came a point when I realized I didn't want to do this for the rest of my life. After taking time to reflect, I knew I was ready to go back to school and figured out that I wanted to study graphic design.”

Benduski considered enrolling at a community college in Indiana, as well as four-year options in Missouri. Ultimately, he chose STLCC.

“After looking into a number of options, STLCC was the most affordable and their admissions process was the easiest,” he said. “Enrolling at STLCC was simple, and they had counselors you could talk to about any questions or issues. After doing the math, the value of credit hours per dollar at STLCC is pretty amazing.”

After two years away, Benduski was anxious about returning to school, so he opted to enroll in only a few classes. Once at STLCC-Forest Park, he realized that he wanted to pursue an associate degree in graphic communications. Alex Benduski self portrait

“Initially, I wanted to start slow and only take a few classes, basically just get my education rolling again and then transfer to a four-year university,” he said. “What happened is that once I started taking courses at STLCC, I found an associate path that I’m really excited about.

A major reason he chose STLCC was the course offerings and resources available to graphic design students.

“STLCC has a lot more options and resources than some of the other schools I looked at,” Benduski said. “For example, we have access to industry-standard printers. With these, I can design projects that you can print on a large scale. It gives me that creative freedom and gets the wheels turning.”

In addition to academics, Benduski has learned life lessons at STLCC.

“Being at STLCC has made me feel closer to the community. Talking to professors and meeting classmates, you realize how diverse St. Louis is,” he said. “There are people from all over the region in my classes.”

Although Benduski is considering transferring to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree after earning his degree at STLCC, the community connection he has experienced at Forest Park remains a strong part of his educational identity now.

“You get to understand what it’s like for different people to live here,” Benduski said. “There are a lot of different lifestyles and a lot of people who care about a lot of different things.”

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