I transferred to Northern Illinois University (www.niu.edu) following the unexpected death of my mother, Linda. As a result of her passing, I became the caretaker for my disabled uncle, Tom. With this responsibility, I needed to continue my education close to home. I knew little about NIU, as I always envisioned myself going away to college. However, transferring to NIU from my local community college turned out to be a wise decision.
What I love most about NIU are the incredible opportunities available to students. With hundreds of student organizations in practically every area imaginable, exceptional faculty members who take the time to mentor their students and an administration that values students’ opinions, an NIU education really provides the most bang for my buck.
Since transferring to NIU, I earned several awards, including the 2011 Student Lincoln Laureate award, an honor given to the top senior from each four-year higher education institution in Illinois. I am especially proud that my NIU education has enabled me to become a 2012-2013 US Student Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, where I will spend the year at the University of Amsterdam studying for my master’s degree in conflict resolution and governance. Ultimately, I hope to work in a major European institution, creating policies that will aid in providing viable, long-term solutions to civil and transnational conflicts.
One day, I hope to give back to the institution that made it all possible and help the next generation of learners achieve their dreams, too.