Student Spotlight: Stephanie Torres
Stephanie Torres’ initial goal after high school was to enlist in the Navy. But her plans changed when she was turned down.
While her peers had visited campuses and been accepted to a variety of colleges and universities, Torres had not, leaving her at square one.
“I had no back-up plan,” she recalls. “I received an email from College of DuPage about an event on campus and I decided to learn more. I liked the programs and the campus and it was a good fit for me.”
Torres plans to obtain her Nursing degree and then continue in the 3+1 program with Benedictine University or the 2+2 with Purdue University Calumet to pursue her BSN.
“I hope to combine social entrepreneurship and health care in order to teach abroad. My desire is to educate communities around the world regarding health promotion, while educating myself about other customs and cultures,” she said.
In 2013, she served as the Student Trustee on the College's Board of Trustees. One year later, she was elected as president of the Student Leadership Council. Torres then was selected to serve as student representative for the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).
“This honor represents the opportunity to continue to grow as a confident and professional individual,” she said. “It means so much that fellow student leaders from across Illinois elected me to represent every community college student. This honor also carries an immense amount of added responsibility. I do not take this privilege lightly. It is my mission to be a dignified representative of community college students and to uphold the amazing opportunities offered at each respective institution.”
“Overall, I hope to use this position as a platform to stress the value community colleges offer to students and district residents. Community colleges are often perceived as an ineffective option in higher education. By embodying the amazing opportunities community colleges offer, I can better demonstrate through actions that community college students are dignified leaders and that they are an asset to the development of our communities.”
Torres’ desire to get involved on campus and meet other students led her to these the positions.
“During my senior year of high school, I promised myself I’d get more involved in college,” she said. “So many students, like me, don’t know the complexities of all that happens on campus and I wanted to learn more and meet new people.”
Torres also noted that involvement in school and civic activities creates the leaders of tomorrow.
“After I attended my first Living Leadership Program retreat, I understood that the world of leadership is open to anyone willing to seek and learn from it,” she said. “Because of my experience, I am now a more critical thinker and am able to handle personal and professional obstacles with confidence. As I often hear at COD, the ‘world is our classroom’ and the opportunities I’ve had at College of DuPage give credence to this statement.
“I believe every student has the potential to prosper and taking the opportunities offered is vital to the development of conscientious leaders and decision makers. It is our responsibility to be proactive and make our opinions matter – this is how change begins.”
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