Student Spotlight: Jorge Hernandez
Major: Construction Management
Interests: Phi Theta Kappa
Jorge Hernandez's GPA was not ideal when he finished high school.
"I had to get my priorities straight after high school," he explained. "I was still a bit immature and knew that I wouldn't give it my all if I had gone to a four-year institution."
So while College of DuPage was an easy choice, based upon its affordability and flexibility, Hernandez knew it would help him get on the right track.
"COD gave me the opportunity to grow and enhance my education despite my mistakes from high school," he said. "Look at me now. I was an honors society member and a scholarship recipient, thanks to COD."
In fall 2010, Hernandez received a $2,500 Power Construction Company Scholarship. In addition to financially helping to pay for college, the scholarship was also a source of motivation.
"This scholarship meant everything to me -- not in the sense of the actual, tangible scholarship, but more in the sense of the meaning behind it," he said. "This scholarship means that my determination and persistence paid off. This scholarship means that I am going places and have a bright future ahead of me."
Hernandez majored in construction management and transfered to Illinois State University, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in construction management. Although he didn't earn his degree at COD, Hernandez only had two classes left, and he plans to transfer the credit for those classes back from ISU to COD so he can get his associate's degree.
While at ISU, Hernandez has received two scholarships: the Charles "Ed" Francis Scholarship, a department-wide technology award worth $1,000, and the Herb Kreisman Award/Scholarship from the Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago worth $2,500. He also is the president of the National Association of Home Builders -- ISU chapter and the 2012 President of the Construction Management Student Association.
Hernandez plans to graduate in 2013. After that, he's not afraid to dream big.
"I plan on primarily focusing on commercial construction, such as high rises, universities and hospitals," Hernandez said. "Owning my own construction firm would be the ultimate bliss -- it would be pretty awesome to see my name on the front of a building every morning. Of course, making tons of money wouldn't hurt either. If you're going to dream, dream big.
"I can't stress enough how much College of DuPage has impacted my young career. The atmosphere and student body have aided significantly in the transformation from high school to college. The teachers have been phenomenal, which is probably the best part of my COD experience. If not for the encouragement I received from the staff, I don't think I would be in the position where I am now. With the help of COD, I now know that time is the only thing keeping me from achieving my personal goals.
"A few years from now, when I'm driving an absurdly expensive foreign car, you better believe a College of DuPage sticker will be proudly displayed on my back windshield."