Student Spotlight: Crystal Wieworka
Attending College of DuPage has empowered Crystal Wieworka, a single mother of two girls who is encouraging them to follow their dreams.
"I realized that without an education, not only could I not provide for my daughters properly but that they would not be as well prepared to pursue their dreams as they grow," she explained. "By obtaining an education for myself, it will serve to enrich their lives by way of example and opportunity. I can show my children how to be independent and strong and that if you put your mind to something and truly believe in yourself, no dream is too big."
As Wieworka describes it, she put on her "big-girl pants" and started to research schools, discovering that College of DuPage has the best Diagnostic Medical Imaging - Sonography program in the area.
"From there I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, baby steps if you will, and two years later after all my general requirements had been met I was accepted into the DMIS program," she said.
Helping her with the financial aspect of attending school was two scholarships that Wieworka received in 2012: the Rotary Club of Naperville Downtown Scholarship and the BethAnn Morgese Scholarship.
"Once I had been accepted into the DMIS program, figuring out how to pay for the additional expense of classes would be daunting task. I never in a million years thought I would be awarded scholarships but I figured that it could not hurt to try," she said. "Receiving these scholarships not only has helped me get one step closer to my goals but is also giving my children the chance to see what it means to work hard for something that is important to them.
"Although receiving these scholarships put me at a loss for words and made me eternally grateful to those who made this opportunity possible, I must say that the chance to meet the wonderful people who funded the scholarships at the College's Scholarship Reception was an amazing experience. I can’t thank them enough. To know that complete strangers have so much faith in me that they are willing to help fund my education brought me to tears."
Wieworka plans to graduate in 2014 with her associate's degree. After that, she would like to get a job in her field and return to school once her children are older.
"The sky's the limit for my educational goals!" she said. "I would like to go back and get a higher degree in sonography and possibly teach. I'm also interested in a specialty field of sonography known as echocardiography. I may even want to become a doctor. I will see where the future takes me but I can guarantee that this isn’t my last journey. There is so much to learn and so many possibilities.
"After taking a long break from education to start my family after high school, I began to feel that I would never be able to accomplish anything of this magnitude. Since embarking on my educational journey, I am empowered by the idea of becoming a professional in my career and by the vast amount of knowledge that I have gained. I take a great deal of pride in my ability to overcome obstacles that once seemed daunting and impossible as I continue to exceed my own expectations.
"College of DuPage has given me a tremendous sense of pride and strength in myself, and the staff and professors have helped me reach my true potential. For that I cannot thank them enough."
2014 College of DuPage