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Your CLC Success Story


Salvador Mancera
North Chicago Community High School

(Class of 2005)

Degree or certificate program at CLC: A.A. in psychology, 2011.

Transfer school: Northeastern Illinois University; earned a B.A. in psychology and a minor in social work in 2013.

Hometown: Currently a Chicago resident; originally from Jojutla, Mexico.

Interests and hobbies: Soccer, reading, volunteering and community service.

After immigrating to this country without knowing any English, I am the first in my family to finish high school and earn a bachelor’s degree. My CLC instructors, mentors and advisors gave me a foundation for success. Rodolfo Ruiz-Velasco was one of the most influential persons in my career. His passion to help students obtain an associate degree nfluenced me to pursue a career in higher education and give back to my community.

Another component to my success at CLC was my involvement in student organizations such as Latino Alliance. As an active member, I gained leadership, public speaking and teamwork skills. My favorite part was sharing my personal story with high school ESL students and telling them how it was possible for me and other students to attend to college.

Through my participation in organizations and clubs, I made a lot of friends at CLC. They still play a big part in my life, and they are more like a family now. I also appreciated the students’ diversity and age differences since they helped me to become more culturally aware and understanding of different points of view.

Being a part of CLC changed my life completely. When I was in high school, I did not know what to do with my life. I met a CLC advisor who explained all of the opportunities that CLC offered. After taking a tour of CLC, I decided to enroll. At first, I thought that college would be the same as high school, and during my first year, I was an accounting major. But my goal changed radically after my first psychology class, where I learned about human behavior. Then, after a work-study job in which I helped new CLC students, I changed my major.

At CLC, I also learned the importance of preparing for college transfer. Before I finished my second semester, I started to meet with a transfer advisor who took me to visit four-year universities such as DePaul University and NEIU. I strongly recommend that every student have a close relationship with an advisor, since they will always look for resources for students to succeed. After one year of researching with my advisor and mentors, I decided that NEIU was a good fit for me to finish my bachelor’s degree. Recently, I got accepted to NEIU for the ENLACE graduate program (aimed at Latino students). I received a full scholarship to complete my master’s program in educational leadership with focus in higher education. My goal is to finish the master’s program by the fall of 2016. I want to become a director of a university transfer center or an academic advisor to help underserved populations succeed in college. My long-term goal is to get a doctorate degree in higher education. I want to be an example for the next generation—and show them that everything is possible.