Thursday, August 27, 2015

Leadership lived: Student helps incoming freshmen make the transition to college life


The University of Illinois Springfield has always felt like home to Duane Willingham II. Now, he’s helping new students make the transition from high school to college.

This summer, the Sociology/Anthropology major worked as a Student Orientation Coordinator, helping incoming freshmen learn about UIS and get ready for the school year.

“I love working for orientation because we’re the first people who get to meet our incoming first-year students,” he said. “We’re a nice friendly face and get them to be calm and comfortable with the university.”

UIS was Willingham’s first choice for where he wanted to attend college. He fell in love with the campus after his first visit and has since recruited a few other students.

“I actually got my sister to come here and I’m working on my brother now,” he said. “UIS is definitely a school I recommend, especially if they want to come to a smaller college.”

Willingham is very involved on campus. He is the president of the Voices in Praise Gospel Choir and a member of the Christian Student Fellowship and the Black Male Collegiate Society.

Following graduation, he’d like to work for a non-profit organization where he can continue to make a difference.

“That’s what all my career goals are around, helping people,” he said.

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