"I considered myself to be one who shouldn't limit himself based on where he came from."
"Though I grew up in Chicago's Cabrini Green housing projects, with its reputation as a low-income neighborhood, going to schools such as Disney Magnet and Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center didn't limit my educational aspirations. My early education introduced me to a lot of diverse backgrounds. It allowed me to meet people of different cultures and interests. As I became a teenager, I considered myself to be one who shouldn't limit himself based on where he came from. I certainly wasn't a bookworm in elementary, but I became more involved in activities in high school. The events I participated in and the friends that I made at school kept me from limiting what I could do."
Joseph enrolled in one of the City Colleges of Chicago after high school.
"When I was in the process of deciding what to study in college, I had computer gaming in mind as a career, the creative mind to accomplish it and the enthusiasm for it. Financial issues in the months after I graduated prevented me from going to a four-year college as I originally planned, so I went to Truman College (within the City Colleges of Chicago). I always had the goal to complete a bachelor's degree — not just an associate. Some of the teachers I had at Truman helped me to understand that I could transfer my credits to a university so I could complete my degree in a timely manner."
Joseph enrolled in Student Support Services (SSS) at Truman College and began receiving the support he needed to transfer to DePaul.
"When I first started at Truman, I enrolled in TRIO SSS. The first thing the staff did was enroll me in additional tutoring. I was struggling with writing papers and with math. Here at DePaul, I'm still getting help from SSS with the math classes that I have to take. At Truman, SSS workshops taught me about leadership, networking, and being culturally and socially aware. TRIO at DePaul places more emphasis on resources available to prepare you to graduate and steps to take after you graduate.
"Money or academic issues might seem threatening to a student — in my case, finances seemed like such an issue. Being in SSS helped me realize that you shouldn’t have to let tuition expenses stop you from what you want to pursue in a college career. The staff here at SSS at DePaul were able to help me with financial planning so that I could stay on track to complete my degree in a timely manner."
"SSS has helped me to be a successful student."
"Knowing that I always have support has been the most important thing for me. It can be a challenge to not become intimidated around people who may make you think that you don't have the intellect to become as successful as they are. Being in school for such a long time, I have learned how to navigate my studies successfully. There are stressful times, and the social support that SSS provides is helpful. It is good to talk with the staff. There are peer leaders who are the same age as us, and it is helpful to have them there as well."