The most common question I hear when I tell people that I’m from Maine is, “Why come to Chicago?”
When I was in high school, I was one of those go-getter types. I wanted to be a part of everything and experience as much as I could; honors societies, science club, team sports, music in and out of school, and mission trips were only some of the things I was involved in during those four years. When it came time to apply to college, I saw it as an opportunity to try something new and get out of the New England bubble that I'd known my whole life. I wanted a college that was going to challenge me in my music and academic studies, provide networking opportunities and help me become the best musician and person I could be – and not to mention, give me a big, new place to explore!
I initially favored DePaul for two reasons: it’s in a big city and it offered me the most financial aid. My first visit DePaul was also my first time in Chicago, and I was in love with the big city vibe! Though not directly downtown, I thought it was so cool that I could hop on a train and be right in the middle of the 3rd biggest city in the country in less than 15 minutes. DePaul also offered me a great amount of financial aid…as a music student I was considered for both academic and talent scholarship awards. Though the scholarships now come as one combine package, (meaning, students receive one lump sum of scholarship instead of two different scholarships), audition performance and high school academics both still affect financial aid for music students.
After doing a little more research on DePaul’s offerings,
reputation, and mission I was completely sold. In the school of music
specifically, several of the faculty members play in the various symphony
orchestras and other high-achieving ensembles (Chicago Symphony, for example!).
Check out the DePaul Faculty pages if you want to
know more. DePaul also offers several different performing ensembles: two
orchestras, two choirs, one wind ensemble, jazz bands and combos and many other
smaller ensembles. There is never shortage of performance opportunities around
here. When I made the switch from performance to music education, I was sold
all over again with a future of studying with inspirational educators, working
in local schools and being able to student teach in some of the best schools in
Illinois. (Not to mention – my advisor specializes in social justice in
education, which is something I’m really passionate about)
DePaul is a Vincentian school and I’m passionate about the
commitment to social justice and community support. You can read more about
DePaul’s Vincentian identity here. In short, St. Vincent de Paul asked the
question, “What must be done?” to help those in need, and DePaul does as much
as possible to continue this mission through service to the surrounding
community. DePaul has several organizations that help students find volunteer
opportunities, such as DePaul Community Service Association.
Though I often miss my family, easy access to the beach and
eating cheap lobster, I will never regret choosing DePaul for my college
education. DePaul has prepared me to be a great teacher and person; and for
that I will always be grateful!