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Waubonsee names Delgado Featured Student
As she neared the end of her senior year at West Aurora High School, Morelia Delgado had a few things figured out: She knew she needed to further her education to better her life, and that if she wanted opportunities, she couldn’t sit and wait for them to come.
Armed with that knowledge and a strong will, the oldest of four became the first in her family to attend college. Doing so has required Delgado to juggle a full schedule of academics, work, and extracurricular activities, and her commitment to doing it all has gotten her noticed at Waubonsee Community College. For her work ethic and reputation as an emerging leader on campus, Waubonsee is proud to recognize Delgado as a featured student.
Currently working toward completion of her associate’s degree next summer, Delgado is a member of the soccer team, Future Educators’ Association, Latinos Unidos, and is a student facilitator for College 100. She also works for Student Life at Waubonsee, and at Portillo’s. She juggles all of this now because she hopes it will help her reach her goal of becoming a bilingual educator and soccer coach.
Some days chasing her dream means that she doesn’t get home until 10 p.m. or later, with little time to eat, sleep and do homework before she returns to campus the next morning. But Delgado knows it’s worth it.
“I know that if I get more involved, I get more opportunities,” she said. “Opportunities won’t just come to you, you need to get involved and ask questions.”
That’s the kind of wisdom that Delgado plans to share with new Waubonsee students in the College 100 course for which she is a student facilitator this semester. Her confidence, determination, and commitment got the attention of staff during the interview process.
“She was so eager to share her experience with others,” recalled Frankie Benson, TRIO and Student Support Services Manager. “She sat down at the interview and said ‘I already cleared my schedule so I can do this.’”
Benson said that when Delgado arrived on campus as a new student, she was quiet, but she and other staff were impressed with Delgado’s growth in her first year at Waubonsee. She diligently stopped by the TRiO offices to meet with tutors once a week, and her motivation showed.
“She went from someone who was pretty quiet to someone so confident and outgoing and interested in a lot of things,” Benson said. “I see her as an emerging leader.”
Delgado said that while she initially chose Waubonsee because it was convenient, affordable, and close to home, she has found it to be a place that has enabled her to flourish.
“I have more opportunities here because my classes are smaller and I get a lot of time one-on-one with faculty,” she said.
Besides the support services she has found on campus, Delgado has also found encouragement from her boyfriend, who did not finish high school.
“He says he wishes he were in my shoes, doing what I’m doing,” she said. “He is trying to go back and finish his education now but it’s harder for him. And these days, it is more about how much education you have, rather than just work experience. You need to finish your education to get ahead.”
When she finishes her associates degree next summer, Delgado hopes to enroll at Northern Illinois University and pursue a career in bilingual education. She also wants to be a soccer coach. But her goals don’t end there: She promised her little brothers that when she finishes her education and becomes a teacher, she will help them to get college degrees.
“I decided to go to college because I saw how my parents and family struggled and I wanted to change that,” she said.