My last three years at Elgin Community College have been like a roller coaster, with many ups and downs. ECC has always accepted me and provided me with enormous opportunities for which I will forever be extremely grateful.
Due to my citizenship status, I was not able to qualify for the federal TRiO program, but that didn’t stop me from finding other resources to help me be successful. I joined ASPIRE 1G, a student organization for first-generation college students, and I became their event coordinator, later accepting the vice president position, in order to support other students like me.
ECC provides opportunities for students to attend leadership conferences, which helped me excel in my role as a student and as a leader in my community. Through openly expressing my citizenship status, I’ve discovered other fulfilling leadership opportunities; in particular, the chance to become a voice for the undocumented community. I firmly believe that if I hadn’t attended this institution, I wouldn’t have found my voice or learned more about issues that are important to me—education, women’s rights, and most importantly, immigration.
Thanks to ECC, I have been able to network with legislative leaders, such as Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Cristina Castro, my classmates, lawyers, and other community leaders. It’s through these experiences that I have gained more confidence to continue advocating for what I believe in, and which I’ve done while obtaining my degree. ECC will forever be an institution that not only gave me an amazing education, but offered me tremendous support while helping me find my passion for social justice.
~ Ana Rojas, Elgin