Student Spotlight: Carlos "Sam" Ortega-Guerrero
Carlos "Sam" Ortega-Guerrero
Attending College of DuPage has helped Carlos "Sam" Ortega-Guerrero decide what he wants to be: a community college president.
"I cannot think of a position more rewarding, because I can help make post-secondary education more affordable while ensuring the high quality of the courses," he said. "My family would not have been able to afford a post-secondary education for me if it had not been for COD. 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 toward his goal is his involvement with the Student Leadership Council. For the 2013-2014 year, he was elected president, which has given him an opportunity to understand the student perspective on campus and to communicate their comments. As president, he also sits on the Shared Governance Council, which serves in an advisory capacity to the College president and consists of the constituency group leaders.
"All of these opportunities have 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 is helping Ortega-Guerrero pay for his own education without the help of his parents. He also works as a math tutor 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 plans to graduate with his associate's degree in 2014. He then would like to pursue the College's 3+1 in Management program with Benedictine University and then continue to receive his master's degree in an administrative field. Eventually he would like to obtain his doctorate and become a college president.
"This would be my dream because I could play a part in making collegiate education affordable for all," he said. "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.
"College of DuPage has provided me with a plethora of ways to accomplish my educational and career goals. Being involved on campus has allowed me to become an active member in the society I live in. It has shaped who I am today, and it has been great to be able to represent the voice of so many talented students. Not only is being president of the Student Leadership Council an incredible opportunity, it is the journey that brought me here. It 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 that I have taken, and the adventures that I've had the opportunity to partake in."
2014 College of DuPage