Student Spotlight: Gabbi Gruver
Major: Associate in Arts/EMT
Because her mom is a paralegal, Gabbi Gruver grew up surrounded by lawyers and interested in law.
“As I got older, my interest in politics and law grew,” she said. “When I see and hear about cases of discrimination and human rights abuses in the news, I have this inner drive to do something to help those who have suffered. Social justice and change are two things that I am passionate about and that has led me to my major.”
When she was considering college, Gruver was debating between different career and educational options, including going into the military. While she wasn’t sure what to pursue, she also knew that she didn’t want to work full time in order to pay for her education.
“For many reasons, I also didn’t want to leave home for a university right away, so I decided to come to College of DuPage, which was one of the smartest things I have ever done,” she said. “COD helped me meet my personal goals through a variety of opportunities, such as being part of the Living Leadership Program, becoming a New Student Orientation leader, and being involved with Phi Theta Kappa, the COD Percussion Ensemble, the Community Band, and the Forensics team. Everything helped me grow as a person and I learned how to become an effective leader.”
Gruver considers her involvement with the Forensics team one of the highlights of her time at COD. She traveled to five different states for competitions and won numerous awards, including two Novice National Championships for both debate and speech.
Being part of the Honors program also turned out to be a smart decision. Gruver was encouraged to join by one of her Psychology professors.
“While I was hesitant at first, I quickly learned that I was surrounded by students who had a passion for education and learning just as I did,” she said. “I enjoyed honors classes because they are smaller, so you have more open conversations and your opinions are heard. I had the opportunity to take Leadership Development as a seminar class, which helped me grow as a leader and gave me the opportunity to work on a campus-wide project. The honors classes were some of my favorites and were taught by some of the best professors at COD.”
In addition to earning her Associate in Arts degree, Gruver also completed an EMT certificate, something she had wanted to do for many years. Through the connections she made, she found a part-time job easily and now works as an EMT for Edward Hospital in Naperville.
Gruver is currently a double major in Political Science and Speech Communication at North Central College, where she and her partner won a national forensics championship in parliamentary debate. After earning her bachelor’s degrees, she plans to attend law school.
“My long-term career goal is to work as a human rights or international lawyer. One day I hope to work for the United Nations or the ACLU or even possibly work for the government to try and enact policy changes,” she said.
Gruver advises students considering College of DuPage to look at everything the school offers.
“You can find a club for every interest, be in the Honors program, join a sports team, study abroad, work on campus and so much more,” she said. “Don’t let the fact that it is a community college deter you from making one of the smartest decisions of your life. At COD, you can find everything that you would at a university while learning from some of the best professors, who helped me realize what I wanted to do for a career and taught me how to accomplish my career goals through education.”
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