Student Spotlight: Omar Escamilla
Major: Speech Communication
As a senior in high school, Omar Escamilla's only desire was to move out and go to college.
While he was looking forward to the experience at a four-year school, he felt pressured to pick a major so he wouldn’t enter as "undecided" and waste both time and money. He also was worried about the cost of tuition and board, even with scholarships.
But when he attended a college fair at College of DuPage, Escamilla was surprised by how big and modern the campus was.
"I honestly had a negative perception of the College. After getting accepted to Loyola and starting the process of signing for loans and picking out a room and board package, the option of going to COD was always in the back of my mind," he said. "During that time of feeling anxious about the whole college process, I decided to revisit COD and talk to current students about their experience. I was surprised to hear about everything COD had to offer and the quality of the education. I then realized that COD was the right place to begin my college experience."
From the start, Escamilla began taking advantage of opportunities beyond the classroom. In fact, before starting at COD, he learned about the College's Living Leadership Program and attended a Leadership Retreat at George Williams College the summer before his first semester. This allowed him to meet a variety of student leaders and faculty while giving him assurance that he selected the right school.
He has since become a member of the Student Leadership Council, Campus Crusade for Christ, Latino Ethic Awareness Association and the Philosophy Club. He also is the Vice President of Service in Phi Theta Kappa.
"Being a part of clubs on campus has given me the opportunity to meet many extraordinary people who keep me grounded and motivated to succeed," he said. "I have built friendships that have helped me to grow in a positive direction."
Escamilla is also discovering what major he'd like to pursue.
"From an early age, I really enjoyed interacting with people," he said. "This passion grew stronger as soon as I began volunteering for one of the largest churches in the nation, Willow Creek. My position at their Care Center requires me to have a lot of interaction with hundreds of individuals per night. Although I found I really liked communication, I never thought about pursuing it as a career. Being so involved in school and having to speak so much has led me to want to pursue a degree in Speech Communication."
Upon graduating in 2015 with an Associate in Arts, Escamilla would like to transfer to Loyola. Eventually, he wants to work in downtown Chicago with companies and organizations that help people in need. Also, he would like to keep his passion for writing and helping people by authoring books on self-development.
Although he selected College of DuPage at the last minute, Escamilla knows he made the right decision.
"A lot of people think that going away to college will help you to know yourself, which isn’t the case for everyone," he said. "I can honestly say that being at COD has helped me learn so much about myself by giving me the opportunity to build a community in student organizations and events.
"The faculty at COD is phenomenal. They have truly helped me reach many of my educational goals. The professors are very experienced in their field, and they provide you with their knowledge and practice to give you an outstanding education. They will go out of their way to help you —- some even go as far as coming to COD during their off hours to provide you with extra help."
Escamilla's advice for students considering COD are three simple words: Go for it.
"College of DuPage will provide you with the essential materials to begin building your groundwork, so take advantage of everything it has to offer. With the help of knowledgeable educators, outstanding facilities and incredible student organizations, COD will prepare you for your future goals. Join a lot of clubs and student organizations, because COD is bound to have a perfect group for you. Being involved will give you the opportunity to meet extraordinary people and be an active part of the campus."
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL
60137 (630) 942-2800
2014 College of DuPage