Loving College, Loving Life

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Tanisha & Jeanine

Early Childhood Development / Culinary Arts

A Family Tradition

Tanisha Rainey and Jeanine Smith are both sisters and students at the OTC Springfield campus, but there is a third description they like to use, too.

The sisters consider themselves unofficial ambassadors of the College.

"I like saying hi to people on campus. I don't like seeing people by themselves. I want them to feel welcome here. It's such a great school," said Tanisha, 16, a junior from Central High School, who is taking dual credit classes in the Early Childhood program.

Her sister, Jeanine, 19, is in the second year of her culinary arts program and works at Missouri State University. Even there, Jeanine talks about the OTC culinary program with her co-workers.

"It's truly a great program and I try to let everyone know about it," she said.

The two are close personally, and keep in touch during the course of the day while on campus together.

"We try to meet up as much as possible. We're more like twins. We watch out for each other. We like the same music. Some people say we even sound alike," Tanisha said.

The sisters share another common denominator that stems from their educational roots. They weren't the first from their family to walk the OTC grounds.

Lincoln High School, once Springfield's segregated school for the city's African-American population, was located on what is now the OTC Springfield campus. It is now known as Lincoln Hall.

The girls' grandmother and other relatives attended Lincoln High. A picture of their grandmother in a 1952 sewing class is among the photos from the old high school now on display in Lincoln Hall. Their aunts also attended Lincoln and the vocational programs that were offered in the building.

"The knowledge that my grandmother was here pushes me to do well," Jeanine said.

The sisters are proud of the display is in Lincoln Hall and that the college has encouraged diversity on its campuses.

"It's great to see all the different groups here. It shows that OTC cares about educating everyone," Jeanine said.

"I like saying 'hi' to people on campus. I don't like seeing people by themselves. I want them to feel welcome here. It's such a great school."

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