Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Leadership lived: Sophomore becomes “a big fish in a small pond” at UIS

Sophomore political science major Eric Loera says he chose the University of Illinois Springfield because he knew he could become “a big fish in a small pond.” He wanted to get involved on campus immediately and didn’t want to wait until his junior or senior year.

Loera was elected secretary of the Student Government Association, serves as secretary of the Alternative Spring Break student organization, and is a Capital Scholars Honors Program peer mentor and a member of the Student Advocacy Coalition and Campus Senate.

“The reason I went to UIS is because it is such a small campus,” he said. “It provided me an excellent financial aid package and I just wanted to be closer to the capitol where I figured I’d have a lot more political opportunities and possibly some internships.”

Loera is also involved with the Leadership for Life Service Program where he volunteers up to 40 hours a semester as the public health chair. Recently, he helped to tie hundreds of yellow ribbons on campus trees in support of veterans.

“I’ve always been passionate about volunteering and it’s just something I try to invest myself in, especially at UIS there’s just so many ways to get involved in the community and Leadership for Life has provided so many ways to do that,” said Loera.

He volunteers his spring break to help people in need by participating in Alternative Spring Break. Last spring, Loera went to Houston, Texas with a group of 21 other students to clean up hurricane damage and this spring he’ll be going to Puerto Rico to do the same job.

“It was very fulfilling to be hope to the families down there who have lost so much and to be able to be there in their time of need was fantastic,” he said.

Following graduation from UIS, Loera plans to work in local government in a capacity where he can help provide services to youth and low income individuals.

“I’m really glad I came to UIS because it’s become my home and a place where I’ve made so many great friends and it’s just a place where I continue to flourish,” he said.

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