Putnam resident Joey Carvalho received an associate’s degree in fine arts from QVCC in 2013. When transferring to the University of Connecticut, he discovered his major required several classes he had not taken. He opted to return to QVCC to complete those courses, save money and take advantage of smaller class sizes.
As a high school graduate with little sense of direction, Carvalho started college by taking philosophy, history, English, humanities and art. “These all caught my interest and got me asking questions I never asked before,” he said. A dean's list student and scholarship recipient, he took advantage of many opportunities at QVCC, including serving as a mentor to Middle College students and traveling abroad to the Mediterranean. Being surrounded by the wide variety of students at QVCC, he also gained insights into the community and its needs. “It was these insights paired with the bigger questions I was learning to ask in my classes…that stirred my curiosity into how the community works and how to make it better,” he added. With a budding interest in civics, government and politics, applying for the Legislative Internship program was a “no brainer,” he said.
Carvalho, who plans to major in political science and economics, was assigned to intern for Senate President Pro Tempore Don Williams of the 29th District. The internship provided knowledge and experience that will serve him well at UConn. “I learned about the committee process, how bills become law – or fail to become law - and most importantly, I learned more about my rights as a citizen and the importance of participating in the democratic process,” he explained. “One would be surprised at how accessible the Capitol and Legislative Office Building are and how an average Joe like me is allowed to participate in the process.”
Asked why he enrolled at QVCC, Carvalho said it was nearby, inexpensive and accessible. “I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to study as I graduated high school,” he added. “My experience at QVCC enabled me to explore my interests on the cheap and learn important lessons in and out of the classroom. There is no place like it.”