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Student Spotlight: Justin Solomon

02/21/2024

Tampa native, Justin Solomon is a full-time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) student at Hillsborough Community College (HCC). Since enrolling in 2018, Justin has made his mark in the Student Government Association (SGA) on the Plant City Campus. He found a community among his program’s peers, academic advisors and fellow students. Now he has both short and long-term goals for not only his career but experiences that will last him a lifetime.

“What can I do to help people and be a first in my family?” Justin asked himself when choosing his program. He always enjoyed helping others and took inspiration from his mom, who had been a nurse for the last 30 years, and decided to become the first EMT in his entire family. In 2018, he dove headfirst into the Postsecondary Adult Vocational (PSAV) EMT program at HCC and found it to be beneficial to his work schedule as a full-time student. He then enrolled in the HCC Fire Academy in 2019, in the Paramedic program in 2020 and completed his certification in 2024.

“Keep working at it, don’t give up and remember why you went into this field,” he says. “Don’t give up just because you had a bad day.”

Justin found his community through the SGA at the Plant City Campus. He was able to build connections, network, form lasting friendships and was nominated as the Plant City Campus’s SGA treasurer for the 2023 fall term.

Community college was the best choice for Justin considering the low tuition and fees, the proximity to home and the ability to complete his general education courses to transfer to a four-year university.

He plans to transfer to the University of South Florida upon graduation. “You’re getting the same education in a smaller setting and you’re getting a more personable experience,” he said. “Just because it’s a community college, doesn’t mean that it’s bad. You can learn more one-on-one here.”

Justin has the goals to expand his career once he enters the field. He’s had the aspirations to become a flight medic, or a Special Weapons and Tactics medic. He is currently licensed and works as a paramedic. Despite all that he’s learned at HCC, he enjoys teaching in the medical field and won’t turn down the option if it came to him in the future. “Never stop learning,” he says. “In the field that we’re in, there’s no constant. It’s always changing.”

Justin is thankful to his family for giving him the opportunity to focus on his education, his academic advisors for directing him on this path and for Captain Marshall, his instructor who cares deeply for his students to succeed in his course.

“You get out what you put in,” he says. “You’re not studying to pass a test, you’re studying for the rest of your life.”

For more information on HCC’s emergency medical services programs, please contact associate dean Glenn Davis,
gdavis61@hccfl.edu

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