Student Spotlight: Jorge Hernandez
Major: Construction Management
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. "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 meant that my determination and persistence paid off. This scholarship meant that I could go places and have a bright future ahead of me."
Hernandez majored in construction management and transfered to Illinois State University, where in 2013 he graduated cum laude with his bachelor's degree in construction management. While at ISU, Hernandez 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 was the president of the National Association of Home Builders -- ISU chapter and the 2012 President of the Construction Management Student Association.
"Before graduating, I had committed with Holder Construction Company (based out of Atlanta, Georgia) to begin work immediately upon graduation," he said. "The first project I've been assigned to is a 300,000 square-foot, 12-story call center for State Farm in Tacoma, Wash., where I am an Office Engineer. Although I'm new to the industry and a recent college graduate, I've been given a lot of responsibility and play an important role on the State Farm project. I'm very blessed and have a rewarding career, which I couldn't have obtained without the education I received from College of DuPage and Illinois State University.
"I can't stress enough how much College of DuPage impacted my young career. The atmosphere and student body aided significantly in the transformation from high school to college. The teachers were phenomenal, which was 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.
"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. 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."
2014 College of DuPage