Jocelyn Pantoja is currently a student at Western Illinois University, studying Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. Read on to learn about how her first year is going so far, and her perspective on being a Pullman Scholar.
More than anything I wanted to make my family proud. As a first-generation student, I am thankful to have the opportunity to attend college and achieve my goals. As a law enforcement major, I hope to protect and serve my community. My degree will open doors to a better life that my parents have worked so hard for.
One of my passions is fighting for social justice reform. I plan on working as a police officer, and eventually as a detective. Within these positions, I know I can be effective in promoting equality, and protecting the rights of minorities. I will encourage my future coworkers to do the same, and with more officers working under this attitude, we will be actively involved in the movement for social justice reform.
One of my hobbies is running, and I love going for a jog before my classes start. Runs wake me up, and energize me to start my day. I feel healthier after a good run, and it helps me stay positive for anything that comes my way each day.
My favorite aspect about college is experiencing new things. I learn so much about different people, and I gain new perspective on how different people live their daily lives. My roommate, for example, comes from a small town where their closest mall is an hour away. If I need to go to a mall, I could choose between three different ones within 20 minutes of my house! Learning things like this continue to give me a new appreciation for the things I am so used to.
My first semester in college has gone by so quickly, it feels like it was just yesterday when I was trying to hide my tears as I said goodbye to my family on move in day. I really enjoy college, and I have already gotten used to my daily routine. My highlights for this first semester are meeting new people, joining the food pantry club, taking a self-defense class, and going to a school-sponsored haunted house that made me scream like I never have before.
The opportunities and support the Foundation offers to me are why I like being a Pullman Scholar. I know that if I ever have any questions in life, career, or school, I can always reach out to my fellow scholars or alumni. I feel very welcomed into this wonderful organization, and I’m excited to see how I will be able to help future scholars when I have earned my own degree.
Being a Pullman Scholar means so much to me. I am very thankful for everything they have done for me, and are offering me for the future. Being a Pullman Scholar has given me the opportunity to attend college without the financial burden. This allows me to focus on my education and pursue my goals at Western Illinois University.
We are honored to welcome the 65th Class of Pullman Scholars! These 40 exceptional students join 121 returning Pullman Scholars (full list of scholars here) and are pursuing various majors including, English, biomedical engineering, social work, accounting, and many more at 25 different colleges and universities throughout the United States.
As these scholars embark on their college journey, we look forward to our next application season. The 2015 scholarship application will be available on our website in November. If you know any outstanding high school seniors in Cook County, please encourage them to apply!
We are excited to present the newest class of Pullman Scholars. These 40 bright, determined, exceptional students continue a legacy of achievement as they join 126 upper-class scholars in their pursuit of earning a college degree. A BIG congratulation to the 64th Class! We are honored to have you as part of the Pullman Foundation family.
Crystal Bahena, Charles Allen Prosser Career Academy, Parsons The New School for Design
Shaliyah Brown, Charles Allen Prosser Career Academy, DePaul University
Daniel Buss, St. Laurence High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Angelica Cabrera, St. Benedict High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Charlotte Carroll, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Maritza Chavez, Phoenix Military Academy, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lisa Cheung, Kenwood Academy, Carleton College
Xiomara Contreras, Concord Academy, Northwestern University
Raisa Cuenca, Noble Street College Prep, Yale University
Ashley Davis, Phoenix Military Academy, Western Illinois University
Gregory English, Morgan Park High School, Howard University
Jennifer Escobar, Lincoln Park High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael Glynn, Saint Patrick High School, Marquette University
Maribell Heredia, Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, the University of Illinois at Chicago
Paulena Hopson, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Academy, the University of Illinois at Chicago
Loren Hou, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, University of California, Davis
Nancy Huynh, Frederick Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, DePauw University
Brendan Johnson, Harold L. Richards High School, Valparaiso University
Adam Kiolbassa, Holy Trinity High School, Illinois Institute of Technology
Erica Lee, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Howard University
Sarah Lin, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, DePaul University
Casey Luc, Glenbrook North High School, George Washington University
Agona Lutolli, Frederick Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, Lake Forest College
Naomi Mang, Hoffman Estates High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Shajaya Martinez, Lane Tech College Prep, DePauw University
Lorena Muñoz Ledezma, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Armani Nightengale, Walter Payton College Prep, Loyola University Chicago
Kelsey O’Donnell, John Hersey High School, Northwestern University
Anthony Onyeaghala, Loyola Academy, Illinois State University
Elisabet Ortiz, Lincoln Park High School, University of Colorado Boulder
Erik Ramirez, Phoenix Military Academy, University of Iowa
Erika Reyes, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, University of San Francisco
Marco Rodriguez, St. Laurence High School, Northwestern University
Josue Salgado, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, the University of Illinois at Chicago
Huda Shahid, Uplift Community High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Memona Shahid, Uplift Community High School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Maya Stewart, Morgan Park High School, University of Missouri
Bukky Tabiti, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep, Loyola University Chicago
Juan Velazquez, Elgin High School, University of Notre Dame
Maurice Westbrooks, Fenwick High School, DePaul University