Concordia University Chicago
ACI Peer Mentoring Program
Roberto Jordan went to a large high school in his hometown of Lockport, Illinois. For college, what appealed to him was a smaller, more diverse school. After a visit to Concordia University Chicago, Jordan was sold. He liked the Christian environment and the idea of personally knowing many of students attending the university. “Nobody is really a stranger here,” he says.
Jordan is a business management major. “I like controlling things and making sure things are neat,” he says.
Jordan joined ACI’s Peer Mentoring Program at Concordia at the suggestion of his resident advisor. He has learned how a mentor can help a first-generation college student. Plus, his mentor, Jorge Palacios, is also a business management major. “That was a big thing for me, ” Jordan says. “I’m starting to understand how the whole process works from going from college undergraduate to being in the workforce. He’s filled in the blanks for me. That’s probably the biggest benefit I could ask for – knowing how that process works, and it’s assuring to me that I have a place to make it in the workforce one day.”
For Jordan, the Peer Mentoring Program has also made it possible for him to have funds to buy books or other needed supplies, taught him about preparing to enter the workforce, and he’s made many friends and connections through the program. He’s grateful to his parents, who made it possible for Jordan, his brother and sister to be successful in high school and college. “I’m really thankful for what they’ve done for us because they’ve sacrificed a lot for us to have this opportunity,” he says. “I feel like they’re doing their best to give me the best opportunities for my future.”
Jordan wants potential donors to know that the Peer Mentoring Program has made a big difference for him going from high school to living on his own as a college student. “I feel like I’ve really been assisted, and I feel much more comfortable now as a freshman about my studies and my future,” he adds.
ACI General Scholarship
Tini Wright-Bell thought that after high school she would go far away to college, perhaps to a school in California. But her grandmother heard an ad for Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, while listening to Pandora, the online music service, and suggested she check it out. “We came to a preview day, and the rest is history, says Wright-Bell, a junior psychology major. “I came here, and I love it.”
Wright-Bell, from Glendale Heights, Illinois, says for the past 13 years, her mother has been missing, a reason why she studies psychology. “I kind of wanted to help other children who might feel alone like in my situation, not having a parent. I wanted to be sure to let them know there is someone there that cares about them,” she says, adding she has a specific interest in child advocacy.
To supplement her education, Wright-Bell has interned at the Elgin Boys and Girls Club, which she describes as a safe place for students after school, providing meals and homework help. She is also a member of the university’s Spirit Squad.
Wright-Bell’s ACI General Scholarship has made it possible for her to reside on campus, a big help, she says. “Last year, I was a commuter. That commute was very hectic in the mornings when I had to drive all the way back to Judson every single morning. It helped me get back on campus and be part of the culture again,” Wright-Bell says. She is also grateful for donors that provided funds for the scholarship. “You may be able to help a student get out of a bad situation,” she says of donors. “You’re also helping that student be able to be part of the community and be part of college life.”