NEIU wants you to see you succeed…
In the fall semester of my senior year, I was borderline homeless and staying on my best friend’s couch for over a month. The McNair Program offered assistance, and, because of their generosity, I was able to get back on my feet and get my own apartment. If I did not have their support, I would have dropped out of my classes less than a year before graduating.
How will you make a difference in the world?
I plan to continue to assist in educating others about how important it is to be cognizant of the impact we have on this planet. So, I will present in more conferences, complete more research projects, and spread my knowledge to anyone that would listen. This is one major contributor to my decision to pursue a Ph.D. I hope to be a biology or environmental science professor so I can continue to learn more about the living world and teach others about ways we can improve it.
How does it feel to be the first in your family to graduate from college?
Initially, being the first to attend college as a first generation student was very intimidating and misguided. At first, I attended a school I didn’t love for a degree I was not certain about. However, transferring to NEIU changed my perspective. Having guidance from faculty benefited me immensely. Instead of worrying about my future, I now feel determined, motivated, and proud to not only be the first in my family to graduate, but to graduate from NEIU.
What’s it like to come from a small town and go to college here in Chicago?
Honestly, moving to Chicago from a small town was very terrifying. All I have ever known was that Chicago is this “bad place full of crime”. When I wanted to move out of my hometown I thought “well, Chicago is big. Big means more opportunities for growth.” So, against my family’s wishes, I moved up here to find myself, and I did! I enrolled in classes here at NEIU and created the person you see here today. I feel as if I am a completely different person from who I was in my hometown, and I have never been so happy.
What have you learned about diversity while attending NEIU?
I learned that diversity is a requirement, especially in science. We are taught to brainstorm with a research team, ask for second opinions, and accumulate peer-reviewed literature research. We strive to know and understand everything in the area we are studying, but, unfortunately, that is not possible. From different perspectives to varying hypotheses, it is important to take everyone’s contributions into consideration, and I believe this can only successfully be done with a diverse team.