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Altgeld Teen Leaders connect with Mesirow summer interns for college advice

Thank you to Mesirow for creating a wonderful opportunity for youth in our Calumet Center’s Altgeld Teen Leadership Program to learn about applying for and attending college!

Mesirow connected a group of its summer interns with our youth for a discussion on advice they have about college, challenges around applying, what the college experience is like, and more.

Sharrise, who plans to attend Northern Illinois University, shared she was surprised to learn most students go through several majors before finding the one that works best for them. She said based on what she learned, she plans to communicate with her professors and use the resources available to her.

Sharrise  also shared one piece of advice in particular will stick with her. “Be mindful of who I choose to spend my free time with,” she says. “Never let what your friends are doing influence what you do in college.”

Martice, who is headed to Bradley College, shared, “I related to Justin moving to an area that was predominantly white and having to readjust.”

Martice says one of Justin’s stories about his roommate in particular made an impact. “I plan on taking specifically the roommate advice, since I will be meeting up with my roommate next week to build a relationship before school,” says Martice.

Arishay, who graduated last year and took a year off before heading to college this year, shared she related to one of the Mesirow interns talking about different paths to college.

“Sometimes it is good to not go right away and know what you want to do so you do not switch your major,” she shared. Now, she says, “I hope to use what I learned today to figure out my major and what I want to do.”

Arishay says a piece of advice she’ll definitely use is “not taking my grades for a joke during my freshman year of college.”

We’re grateful to be able to offer opportunities like this for our teens to learn from other youth who have been through a similar experience, and better prepare for college.