When Erik Enders, student life coordinator for student success, arrived on campus for his job interview last summer, it was the first time he’d been to Elgin Community College. He knew about ECC from friends, but had not experienced the college. One visit was all it took to solidify his desire to be a part of the ECC community.
Enders had to hit the ground running to get ECC’s newest mentoring program, Transforming and Impacting Undergraduate Men Pursing Higher Education (TRIUMPH), launched before the fall semester started. He says his greatest accomplishment, so far, was last fall when he successfully hosted the first TRIUMPH meetup for men interested in becoming mentors.
“After working for 10 weeks to learn about and begin growing the TRIUMPH program, seeing the initial fruit of that work was extremely encouraging,” says Enders. During the fall semester, monthly TRIUMPH meetups with both potential mentors and students occurred. The goal this spring is to match students to mentors to begin the second phase of the program.
Enders also coordinated the highly successful Men of Color Conference held Jan. 8, which drew participants from 10 regional institutions.
Learn more about Enders and his passion for student success below.
In your words, what do you do at ECC?
My primary focus is coordinating the new TRIUMPH mentorship program for men of color here at ECC. I am responsible for program planning and execution, the recruitment of scholars and mentors, and connecting with community members and organizations. As a member of the student life team, I also support the various activities and events hosted by Student Life. I also have the honor of advising Black Student Achievers (BSA) and advising the EXCHANGE.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
I would sit and visit with students, faculty, and staff all day to understand what we’re doing right and what we could do better.
If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
I would want Dwayne Johnson to play me. LOL!
What’s on your “bucket list?”
My “bucket list” is pretty long, but some highlights would be more international travel to Africa, Australia, Dubai, France, Italy, Spain, and the Maldives; flying on a private jet; driving an 18-wheeler; owning a Lamborghini; speaking to a stadium of people.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)?
I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, watching sports, DIY projects, video production, and volunteering.
Where was the best place you’ve traveled? Or where would you like to visit?
Thus far, the best place I’ve traveled to is London, England.
What’s one fact we should know about you?
One thing you should know about me is once you’re my friend, you’re my friend. I’m with you when you’re right or wrong. I’ll tell you if you’re wrong and back you up when you’re right.
What’s something about your job that others should know?
Something about my job others should know is, like the other Student Life Coordinators, I am here for student success. I am willing to do all I can to achieve that end.
What would be your “theme song?”
My theme song would be “Ima Just Do It” by KB.
What was your favorite class in school (could be elementary, high school, or college)?
My favorite class was English in my senior year of high school. My teacher was tough, fair, and really believed in me. I’ve had other great classes on my journey, but that one really made an impact on me.
What was your first job out of school?
My first job out of school was working as the media director for my church.
What quote best describes your philosophy?
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ―Dale Carnegie
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because … “
…of the tremendous community, warm faculty and staff, outstanding students, and mission to improve people’s lives through learning.