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
Originally, Taylor Ludwick of Moberly, Missouri, wanted to attend a big college in the South, Louisiana State University. But she and her mother thought it would be best to consider colleges in other places. Ludwick visited Quincy University, and she liked the campus and its location near the Mississippi River. Ludwick was sold – and came to Quincy to study English.
But that’s not the end of the story. Ludwick, a sophomore, recently changed to a double major in middle grades literacy and elementary education. “I want to impact the most people,” she says. “I’ve always loved younger kids. I started working with kindergartners when I was 12. I’ve always had a love for teachers. I thought they were the most impactful people in my life.” Now, she’s focused on a career as a public school teacher, following in her own footsteps as a product of public schools. Ideally, Ludwick wants to work in the Quincy area for a few years before moving to the South.
Financing her education is a challenge. She’s the youngest daughter in her family, and college is expensive. “This year, it’s about $45,000. Where my sister went, it was only like $5,000. So, my sister could afford it, but I could not afford coming here at all, and I knew that. So, my Mom told me I had to base everything off scholarships,” Ludwick says. Among other sources of funds, Ludwick attends Quincy as part of a work-study program.
Ludwick also qualified for an ACI General Scholarship. “If I didn’t get the scholarship, I would have been at a loss where I would have attained money for anything like that,” she says. She is also grateful for donors. “They’re definitely helping everybody whenever they donate the money. It’s allowing all of us to further our educations so that we can then also donate,” Ludwick says.
Ludwick is also busy with several jobs and volunteer opportunities. She is a manager at the Children’s Place, a local clothing store for children. She works at the university library and is an orientation leader. As a volunteer, she is president of the Multicultural Club, was in Rosie’s Resistance, a Quincy club that promotes female empowerment, and is active in the Black Student Union.