The University of Illinois Springfield is preparing future math teacher Oscar Mercado to be a leader in the classroom. Mercado is majoring in mathematical sciences with a minor in secondary education and Spanish.
At UIS, he is the president of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), colony president of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc., treasurer for Multicultural Male Society and a mentor for the Hispanic-Latino Mentorship Program.
“As president of OLAS, I’ve learned how to establish myself in a manner that’s very professional and be able to not only represent myself, but also my people, the Latinos on campus,” he said.
OLAS aims to bringing awareness to issues that are happening within our society and provide cultural awareness on campus.
Mercado, a Palatine, Illinois native, says he chose UIS “because they wanted me to come here”. He says admissions counselor Aaron Boettcher went out of his way to help him succeed.
“He made sure that I felt welcome,” he said. “Regardless of what I needed, he would be there for me and he would do whatever I needed to ensure that I continue my higher education here at UIS.”
Following graduation from UIS, Mercado wants to teach at a “school of need” where he can encourage other students to earn a college education.
“I am glad that I chose UIS,” he said. “It’s opened up a lot of different opportunities for me and a lot of doors. I’ve gotten to meet incredible people and really establish myself not only as a student, but as a leader.”