GSB: What college or university did you attend, and what did you study? When did you graduate?
LF: Bradley University, Major in Psychology minor in Health Graduated May 2017
GSB: What are you doing now in life and career?
LF: I am currently pursuing a Masters in School Counseling and working in the Office of Admissions at Northern Illinois University as an Admissions Counselor.
GSB: What does receiving the Give Something Back scholarship mean to you?
LF: Receiving the Give Something Back scholarship means that I have the opportunity to pursue my dreams and more. College was always something I was determined to do, although I didn’t know how. GSB has opened so many doors for me and I am extremely grateful. It means that I am able to start a legacy in my family as I am a first-generation student. This scholarship has helped make my friends and family proud and it is what motivates me to continue to do my best every day.
GSB: How has receiving the Give Something Back scholarship changed your life?
LF: Receiving the scholarship has changed my life by providing me with many opportunities. Outside of the scholarship, the guidance and support I received through the organization really help me become the person I am today.
GSB: Is there anything else we can share about you or your thoughts about Give Something Back?
LF: I am super appreciative of everyone in the program that helped me grow through it. There were so many things that I experienced during my college process, one of them being losing my mother to cancer, and I always had people like Bob T, Steve, my peers in the program, and my mentor really support me to push through. I still remember using college visits as a distraction from everything going on. My mother always told me, the world can take so much away from you, but one of things it can’t take is your education. She was so excited to hear the news about me receiving the Give Something Back scholarship, so I know she sends her thank yous as well.
GSB: How do you plan to “give back” someday? Or how are you already ‘giving back’?
LF: I always try my best to give back in any way I can. I was involved with a community service organization at Bradley University because giving back has always been something I am passionate about. After graduating college, I wanted to make sure that whatever role I took on, I was serving my community in some way. I started off working at the Illinois Student Assistance Commision (ISAC) as an ISACorps representative. I was supporting student through their college process by mentoring, presenting on financial aid in the community, and hosting FAFSA completion workshops. In my role as an Admission Counselor I give back by being a resource for students. Through both ISAC and NIU I found a passion for working with students. I am planning on starting my Masters in School Counseling this Summer at NIU and I hope to continue to give back.
GSB: What advice would you give to other Give Back scholars recently selected for the program?
LF: My advice is to take advantage of all the opportunities offered through the program. Really use your mentor and ask them anything and everything about their college experience. Be engaged in the different presentations and workshops. Be prepared to ask questions when you visit different colleges and universities. You definitely get what you put in, so go out of your way to network with other students and all the great people that run the programs.
Thanks for taking the time to update us on your life, Lupe!