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Grads reflect on ECC journey: Paul Lancero

Paul Lancero

ECC graduate Paul Lancero

My senior year in Bartlett High School, my circle of friends were lucky enough to be accepted into prestigious universities. Miraculously, I was accepted into the universities I applied for as well. However, unlike my peers, my family was not ready to bear the responsibility for the high cost of tuition. My family needed a more financially smart decision: Elgin Community College. Walking into ECC, I had a negatively preconceived impression. Nonetheless, ECC proved me wrong. ECC has guided, educated, and mentored me with genuine care and enthusiasm. Inevitably, ECC became more than just a school, it became a home.

ECC has helped mold me into a mature individual; however, what really sculpted who I am now was my involvement in ASPIRE, a First Generation College Student Organization. My involvement in the organization led me to become the Vice President. Due to this position, it has allowed me to take advantage of resources on campus such as the TRiO Support Services, the Student Success Center, and Student Life. Now I am equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in my future. More importantly, I have made long-lasting mentors, friends, and memories in the process.

I want students to understand that there is nothing more stressful than thinking you need to have your life together at this very moment. You will cry over that test grade. You will question your career path. You will doubt everything in your life. However, I want to assure you that everything will be okay. Take the hand that extends out to help you. Whether it be an advisor, a professor, or a friend; you are not alone. Take advantages of the resources, the opportunities, and the experiences you will have at Elgin Community College. My experience at ECC has given me more confidence in my future and what it has to bring. 

-Paul Lancero, Lake in the Hills


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