Student Spotlight: Carlos “Sam” Ortega-Guerrero
Carlos “Sam” Ortega-Guerrero
Major: Associate in Arts
Attending College of DuPage provided Carlos “Sam” Ortega-Guerrero with the education he always wanted.
“My family would not have been able to afford a post-secondary education for me if it had not been for College of DuPage,” he said. “I also think about my future when making decisions, and the prospect of being drowned in debt did not appeal to me because I knew that it would make it more difficult to start my own life.”
Helping Ortega-Guerrero develop his skills was his involvement with the Student Leadership Council. As president, he had an opportunity to understand the student perspective on campus and to communicate their comments. He also sat on the Shared Governance Council, which served in an advisory capacity to the College president and consisted of the constituency group leaders.
“All of these opportunities helped to shape my goals in determining who I want to be when I graduate from college, and I have learned to always be aware of the people that you are representing,” he said.
Ortega-Guerrero also received the Kane County Cougar’s Reading Club Program Scholarship offered through the College of DuPage Foundation. In order to qualify, he needed a minimum 3.0 GPA, past participation in the Cougar’s Reading Club Program while in elementary school, and to write an essay about how it affected his life.
The scholarship helped Ortega-Guerrero pay for his own education without help from his parents. He also works as the center director at Mathnasium and in the Admissions and Outreach office at COD. As the oldest of three boys, he knows the responsibility that comes with it.
“I am always conscious of the example that I am setting for my younger siblings. I want to show them that no matter what obstacles you may face, they can be overcome with hard work and persistence,” he said.
Ortega-Guerrero graduated with his associate’s degree in 2014 and was an Outstanding Graduate finalist. He received a full scholarship to Benedictine University and was elected as President of the Student Senate at Benedictine. He also had an opportunity to serve on the board of the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago and participated in Juntos Podemos (Together We Can), which promotes the well-being of Mexicans in the United States and their ties with Mexico.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in Political Science, graduating summa cum laude with a 3.95 GPA, he works as a leasing consultant at DynaCom Management. His goal is to pursue a master’s degree and become a political science professor and has thought about becoming a college president.
“After receiving help from so many people to get to where I am today, I would love to give back to the community that has given so much to me. The future of the entire nation is in the hands of our education system, and I hope to play a part in its future development,” he said.
Ortega-Guerrero recently received a compliment on his ability to network with people. He credits that skill to his experiences at College of DuPage.
“College of DuPage provided me with a plethora of ways to accomplish my educational and career goals,” he said. “Being involved on campus allowed me to become an active member in the society I live in. It has shaped who I am today, and it was great to be able to represent the voice of so many talented students.
“Not only was being president of the Student Leadership Council an incredible opportunity, it was part of the journey that brought me here. My journey is comprised of the people who have helped me to trust myself and who have helped to develop my leadership skills. It is the courses I have taken and the adventures I’ve had that have paved the way for my future.”
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