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Photo of Adriana Castillo

Degree or certificate program at CLC: A.A.

Major: Public policy, with minor in sociology and political science; planning to graduate in 2018.

Transfer school, degree and year: University of Illinois-Chicago.

Hometown: Waukegan, Ill.

High school: Graduated in 2015 from Waukegan High School.

High school clubs and activities: ROTC; planning a charitable run/walk for cancer survivors and their families.

Interests and hobbies: Traveling and reading.

Adriana Castillo

CLC has opened my eyes to see that nothing is limited. I’m in the TRiO program, which helps students who are either first-generation, low-income or who have disabilities. Before I became a CLC student, I told myself I was a failure at math. But the TRiO staff have been so supportive, offering tutoring. Now, I like math, and I’m taking a statistics class. The TRiO staff also has helped me master study skills, plan courses and fine-tune my career plans. The care and passion of the staff has inspired me to pursue a career in education.

Other CLC instructors also have been excellent. A sociology instructor really made his class interesting through using humor and references to popular culture such as “Star Wars” and “Star Trek.”

I’ve also grown outside of classes, as a student senator in the Student Government Association. It’s great for the college to allow students to have a voice, and serving as a senator has allowed me to learn how the college functions behind the scenes and what goes into educational policy. I’ve also learned practical skills, such as the need to speak up at meetings.

Working an on-campus job, and being president of the Social Action club, also have been rewarding experiences. When I first came to CLC, I just wanted to go to classes and keep to myself. But after I started working part-time in the Admissions and Recruitment Office, helping students with tasks such as applying for transcripts, I opened up socially. And the more I began to know about CLC, the more I wanted to get involved.

The purpose of the Social Action club is to help raise awareness on issues ranging from the care of military veterans to the physical and mental abuse of children in Lake County. Besides practicing organizational skills, being president has allowed me to leadership and time management skills.

When I started at CLC, I had no idea that the college has so many campus clubs—more than 40 in all. So I was pleasantly surprised. And people here are friendly and want to get to know you. It makes your life here so much nicer.

My ideal career is to work in outreach to high-school students, giving them resources to attend community college. It offers a high-quality education at relatively low cost, but in parts of Lake County, college is overlooked by many. CLC is rooted in the community, and when students come here, they can learn the importance of community along with learning marketable skills for a career. Education is the key to a better tomorrow, because with additional skills and knowledge, you can do anything.