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Art, Design, Theatre and Music - The Artist: Yesenia Arroyo

Students viewing art in lobby
Tags: Alumni Profile
Published 11/28/2022
ECC graduate Yesenia Arroyo

ECC graduate Yesenia Arroyo

To Yesenia Arroyo, a blank page represents a world full of possibilities. Since high school, Arroyo's passion for art, specifically charcoal and pencil drawings, inspired her desired career path. "Ever since I started high school, I wanted to be an art teacher. Art is a huge part of my life," she said.

Going to college to pursue her dream appeared as another blank page, but one Arroyo has a passion for filling just the same. "Elgin Community College was my first choice because I am from Elgin and have an older sister who went here," said Arroyo. "I also wanted to choose a college that would benefit me and was also great with cost and tuition." As one of five children, she knew she needed to be smart about her financial choices when pursuing higher education.

Arroyo's experience at ECC as a first-generation college student taught her to seek help.

"I was always afraid to ask for help, but entering college made me realize you need to and that no one is judging you. With financial aid, scholarships, and help from my parents, I didn't have to pay for anything, which is great, especially since I live in such a big household," said Arroyo.

Arroyo's parents, who are from Mexico, support their children but are limited in how much they can help. "My main priority was to ensure I maintained good grades and reduced the cost of college as much as I could for my parents."

Arroyo won first place in the ECC Student Art Exhibition in 2021 and best-in-show in 2022. “Seeing my accomplishments, my family is very happy, which shows them how an art career is possible,” said Arroyo. She also works part-time teaching art to children at Side Street Studio Arts in downtown Elgin. The studio has helped her sell two of her paintings. “I love it there. They are fantastic. They helped me expand my means of where I can feature my art.”

Now well on her way to inspiring future artists, Arroyo finished her studies at ECC in August of 2022 and transferred to Northern Illinois University to complete a bachelor's degree in education.

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