Belong. Join In. Stand Out.

Segment #5 from University of Illinois Chicago


With students from just about every state on the map, plenty of students here have made the move from a small town to the big city like Michael. He may not be in Kansas anymore but he’s found so much more than he expected right here at UIC. His journey to a campus centered on inclusivity helped him discover his true self, Michael.

– Hey Alex, thanks for the introduction. Growing up in Kansas in a town of about 800 people, I always knew I wanted to go somewhere where I would feel welcome and somewhere exciting like a big city like Chicago. University of Illinois Chicago made that choice easy. Right at the top of my college search list, I wanted to attend a school that was inclusive, open-minded and diverse. UIC’s commitment to social equity and equality was unbeatable. Seeing, meeting and making friends with people from all different walks of life and being accepted for who I am has been so valuable to my college experience. And with such a variety of student backgrounds and viewpoints in class, we not only learn the subject matter but how it can impact us all in different ways, and that elevated level of understanding has been such a benefit to my academic experience. UIC is one big puzzle and all of our identities and experiences make up the pieces to that puzzle. I now feel more like me than I ever have before and I thank the community that is UIC for that. I’ve grown from a small town kid to a city living professional and in so many other ways. UIC help make that transition with great advisors, mentors and an inclusive community, including seven different cultural centers on campus that are committed to student success in creating welcoming space. Just two years ago, I never would’ve thought my life would look the way it does now. The personal growth I made during my time at UIC is something special and I hope others walk away feeling the same. You never know what lies right around the corner, especially somewhere as special as UIC. That’s my story and back to you, Alex.

– Michael, your story of personal growth and finding a welcoming community at UIC is truly inspiring. It sounds like UIC’s commitment to social equity and inclusion really made a difference for you. With so many success units ready to help students navigate life on campus, it’s good to know there are resources for everyone.

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