Colin Reum is a 2018 graduate of Lewis University and proud alum of Give Back. With a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Colin now works for the restoration division of a Canadian based consulting company called Stantec Consulting.

“We do professional herbicide applications to invasive species in high quality woodland, prairie, savanna, and wetland ecosystems around the Chicagoland Wilderness region, mainly in Cook and Dupage county,” Colin explained. “We also manage a 150+ acre plot of land at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.”

In the winter months, Colin and his team perform lots of clearing work, cutting down woody invasive species such as Japanese honeysuckle and buckthorn to expand the restored areas of their sites.

“I am immensely grateful for the support I have received from Give Back,” Colin said. “Not only for the financial support, but for both the professional and life skills I learned from going to networking events, etiquette dinners, college visits and SAT/ACT prep courses. These events taught me things like leadership, compromise, working with all types of people, prioritization, and time management — all skills I apply in my current job when leading crews.”

During a mentor formation day put on by Give Back, Colin had a chat with another mentor, Jonathan Pugh who at the the time was working for Stantec at their Lombard office.

“With his help and recommendation, I was able to get an interview at the Naperville office and subsequently a seasonal position at the company,” Colin said. “After I graduated in 2018, I was able to become a full-time employee. I doubt I would have even heard about Stantec without the help of Jonathan and Give Back.”

Reflecting on his time with Give Back, Colin encourages all the current scholars to talk and network with ‘anyone and everyone.’

“High school students today feel so much pressure from outside sources to do well in school that they sacrifice all other aspects of their life so they can excel in the classroom,” Colin said. “I shared this philosophy for a lot of my schooling career, but as I went through college and talked with more and more people, I realized that there is much more to succeeding in life than a strong GPA.”  

Now working hard and happily engaged to his fiance, Colleen, Colin is so excited for what the future holds.

“The things that are stressing you now you likely won’t remember after 5 years, so don’t be too hard on yourself,” Colin shared. 


Thank you, Colin, for the important reminder and sharing your story with us!