Guest Author: Angie Dabrowski

My name is Angie Dabrowski, and I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice and Peace Studies from Lewis University in May of 2017. Thanks to Give Back, I was the first in my family to receive a college degree.

Receiving the Give Back scholarship allowed me to fully focus on my studies without worrying about the financial burden of college for my family. Everyone I met and worked with through Give Back showed me they truly wanted me to succeed and were willing to do what they could to help make that happen. I met people and experienced things that changed my perspective on life and made me see that hard work really does pay off and financial struggles do not have to get in the way.

My way of “giving back” means becoming a mentor with hopes of building meaningful relationships with Give Back scholarship students. I wish to make an impact on these students in the same way that Give Back has impacted me. By teaching young people to be grateful for even the smallest things in life, I will help guide them to strive to be the best they can be.

My advice for those recently selected for the program would be to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. You will meet some of the greatest people and experience some of the best moments when you least expect it. Build a network of relationships, put in the hard work, never give up, and always strive to be the best version of yourself —because at the end of the day, you are the one that will bring yourself to the top.

Currently, I am a Youth Outreach Specialist at Heart Haven Outreach in Bolingbrook, Illinois. My team offers outreach services to youth who are experiencing challenging times. Our hope is to make a difference in the lives of youth by offering programs such as tutoring, support groups, service projects, social activities, character education and mentoring for high school students, as well as ADP “talk it out” sessions for both middle and high school students.

My journey with Give Back has allowed me to graduate from Lewis University debt free—with a wealth of knowledge, passions and gratitude for my learning experience. Without Give Back, I am not sure I would have been able to afford attending a university. With the help of Lewis’ education, I have found my passion for working with youth and look forward to furthering my education once I decide what it is I would like to pursue.

In addition to my debt free education, Give Back has given me the opportunity to be a mentor for a participating high school student. I am excited for my journey with this student and am eternally grateful that Give Back has allowed me to indulge in my passion for working with youth.

I appreciate all that Give Back has done for me and continues to do for future students. Thank you!