Student Stories: Luis Medina

Luis Medina

Major: Psychology

Luis Medina believes College of DuPage is a place to find yourself.

He initially enrolled at COD because its affordability and to study in the well-respected Culinary Arts program. 

“Culinary is something I decided to pursue early on for the simple fact that I wanted to learn how to cook and feed myself great food,” he said. “Food is something that can brighten anyone’s day, so knowing how to make people happy through their stomach is something I felt I needed in my life.”

Student Life at COD

Medina then immersed himself in campus life, and his accomplishments are many. He has been the president of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK); president of the Chaparral Activities Board (CAB); student leader of Latinos Unidos; Student Ambassador Captain for the Student Ambassadors program; mentor liaison for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Peer Mentoring Program; and team lead through the New Student Orientation (NSO) program. He has also been on the Student Leadership Council, Honors Student Advisory Committee, Black Student Alliance and Model UN.

College of DuPage is where you can figure out what you want to do without the pressure of a huge financial burden.

Luis Medina

“I have learned so much from both my academic program and my campus involvement,” he said. “Through my program, I have learned the ins and outs of working in restaurants as well as running them. Through my involvements, I have learned the values of growth and leadership, as well as the value of guiding others through their own potential.”

In addition, he received funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF); the John Modschiedler PTK Scholarship and the COD Succeeds Scholarship from the COD Foundation; and additional awards through his involvement with CAB, NSO and the Peer Mentoring program.

“All of these helped me pay off any extra tuition and fees that FAFSA could not cover,” he said.

Medina also earned the Gilman Scholarship through the Field and Experiential Learning program, which allowed him to study abroad in France for two weeks.

Field and Experiential Learning, Study Abroad and Global Education at COD

After completing his Associate in Applied Science degree, Medina decided to modify his career path and pursue other passions. He has stayed at COD to earn an Associate in Arts degree and transfer to the University of Illinois at Chicago to earn a bachelor’s in Psychology and Global Studies.

“I want to pursue psychology to help me be an advocate for mental health. On the other hand, my interest on global studies lies in my passion for travel, cultural understanding and being in a position to help people worldwide” he said. “I am still going to work in restaurants and I do plan to one day be a chef. Aside from this, I am taking music classes since one of my passions and goals is also music production, and I plan to take film/video and art classes to learn about video production, animation and writing stories.”

In 2023, he was elected as Phi Theta Kappa International Vice President—Division III, representing the geographical region of the Midwest. The one-year term is one of the highest positions of student leadership within the organization. Through this role, Luis has traveled to places like Las Vegas, Jackson and Orlando as an ambassador for Phi Theta Kappa and an advocate for community colleges.

Medina is glad that he chose COD, which has provided opportunities to pursue all of his interests.

“College of DuPage is where you can figure out what you want to do without the pressure of a huge financial burden,” he said “Whether you are coming in undecided, changing your degree at any point or even just wanting to explore interests, COD is the place to be.”

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