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Lehigh Carbon Community College

From Community College to the White House

By Daniel Melin

“If you start here, you can really go anywhere after,” says 2017 graduate of LCCC’s general studies program, Anna Stackhouse. She knew going into college that she wanted to utilize as many services as possible to apply her education outside the classroom. Now serving as a legislative aide for PA State Representative Milou Mackenzie, she reflects on how LCCC has guided her to career success. “I give all my credit to Career Services. They motivated me and prepared me to do interviews and not be afraid to talk with people.”

These career-readiness skills immensely helped Stackhouse as she continued on to earn her B.S. in Criminal Justice: Homeland Security at Liberty University. “I ended up taking their online classes,” she says, “which allowed me to pursue a four-year degree at very close to the tuition cost of LCCC, which was nice because I accumulated less debt.”

A woman stands with one hand on her hip and smiles at the camera while standing outside the main campus of LCCC.When the time came to look for internship opportunities, Stackhouse knew that something in politics and legislation would match her aspirations of working for the Department of Homeland Security. The Career Services staff at Liberty University told her about the Washington Internship Program, an opportunity that would allow her to live in Washington, D.C. Through a thorough and competitive application process, she was accepted and promptly started interning at the White House. “This was the best experience no matter who was in office at the time,” she says. “To be able to walk in the same halls as so many influential people throughout the country was incredible.”

Her knowledge of government stemming from her bachelor’s degree and her experience at the White House primed Stackhouse for success. Through connections she made while working on several political campaigns, she was able to work her way to her current position as aide to Rep. Mackenzie, a position that she says involves a lot of moving parts. “I also handle the outreach in the office,” she says. “I’m doing a lot of research and talking to constituents, but I’m also out and about in the community, building great relationships with people.”

Though enjoying her current position greatly, Stackhouse strives to expand her work to homeland security. “My goal is to be a part of an organization that protects the country,” she says. “I want to make our homeland a little bit safer, whether [from] national disasters like hurricanes or tornados [or] terroristic threats.”

Reflecting on her career path and success, Stackhouse can’t imagine where she’d be without the guidance and help of LCCC. “When I came to LCCC, I explored so many different career paths,” she says. Even though she credits the Career Development Center for pushing her forward, she admits that she allowed herself to be pushed. “I have to give myself credit, because I didn’t think I was capable of doing what I did.”

Stackhouse says that LCCC is the perfect way to begin the journey to a bachelor’s degree and finding career success. It can be overwhelming for a student just starting out to enter a four-year university, but LCCC “really teaches you what to expect and how to pick the right four-year university.” Although she had the same uncertainty that many students do about whether or not to start at community college, her best advice is: “Just do it.”

The Career Development Center is a free service to all students. For more information, visit the LCCC webpage or contact the center at or 610-799-1090.