DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Student Spotlight > Meet Julian Aparicio-Gomez: Disability advocate and friend to all

Meet Julian Aparicio-Gomez: Disability advocate and friend to all

Julian Aparicio-Gomez sitting with a laptop
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
Born with a Vincentian heart, Julian Aparicio-Gomez, a senior finance major with associates degrees in graphic design and photography from Kennedy-King College, has been no stranger to adversity throughout his life. Despite the challenges, Aparicio-Gomez continues to work hard for the life he envisions after college and never backs down, all while having a warm smile on his face. 

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Aparicio-Gomez and his parents relocated to the north side of Chicago when Aparicio-Gomez was a year old. Growing up in Lakeview, Aparicio-Gomez often passed DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus in awe. The university's soccer field, alongside St. Vincent’s smiling face on McCabe Hall visible from the CTA Fullerton station, became imprinted in his memory. When it was time to pursue an undergraduate degree, Aparicio-Gomez already had the perfect university in mind. 

When Aparicio-Gomez enrolled at DePaul, he was met with a welcoming community filled with friendly faces. The community’s acceptance and kindness has been especially cherished by Aparicio-Gomez because of his physical disability. 

As a child, Aparicio-Gomez was involved in a life-threatening accident. As a result, he suffered a traumatic brain and other physical injuries that require him to use a wheelchair. 

“Anyone who sees me around campus will see me in a wheelchair. Thankfully DePaul has a more accepting attitude of students with disabilities,” Aparicio-Gomez says. “Sometimes when I go around the city, not everyone is willing to help people like me. They often have an assumption that we are not intelligent people. I knew I wanted to attend a university where people would always motivate me to keep going and never look down on me. I have felt this at DePaul.” 

Throughout his college experience, Aparicio-Gomez has used the university's various academic support resources, such as the Writing Center and academic advisors. These tools helped him reach further success in his education and career path in finance. 

“Before DePaul I never had a mentor or true career guidance," he notes. "Being here has given me the network of people I need to reach my goals. I feel more comfortable and secure knowing our community members can help me get where I want to be.” 

Not only has DePaul supported Aparicio-Gomez through any of his academic obstacles, but it has also supported him through his personal challenges and helped him to remain positive. With help from his fellow Blue Demons, Aparicio-Gomez ’s natural optimism has flourished. 

“I am fortunate to know Julian as a remarkable young man who lights up a room when he enters," says Jim Even, a learning specialist at DePaul’s Center for Students with Disabilities. "He's a dedicated and conscientious student with a promising future ahead of him and will do great things. He also has a strong Vincentian spirit.” 

With DePaul’s encouraging community and strong academics, Aparicio-Gomez feels confident as he continues his path towards a career as an investment banker. 

“I've learned success is not a destination, but a journey,” he says. "I am fortunate to have had part of my journey here at DePaul.”