My name is Aliya Segura and I am currently a second year at Loyola Arrupe, a two-year institution where I am graduating with an associates in English. Having virtual classes was a difficult transition as one of the many students of the Class of 2020. I was unsure about having college courses online, yet Arrupe was a welcoming community. I made connections that made my second year back in-person a year to look forward to. Stepping foot on campus was enlightening and exhilarating! My classmates, professors and staff always welcomed me as we said good morning to one another, ate lunch together, and had meaningful discussions in class. At Arrupe, I felt it was my second home where everyone was family.
Being back in person allows me to understand that I can be engaged even as this pandemic continues. I felt safe, cared for and excited to start my studies. At Arrupe, my professors were as thrilled to hear from students in-person just as they were online. The guidance I was given from staff, professors and classmates allowed me to understand I have an amazing support system. I gained opportunities like being the Secretary of DASO (Dreamers and Allies Student Organization). I assisted students with resources about scholarships if they were undocumented, had discussions with students to hear about their perspectives, and made posters for special events we held to educate others on topics like immigration. At Arrupe, I am an art tutor, otherwise known as the Art Fellow. Outside of school, I am a part of America Needs You, as I learn skills to pursue my career, and I continue to learn to be a voice for students in the Partnership for College Completion.
As I reflect on this school year, the accomplishments I am most proud of are initiating the Art Fellow’s Instagram and Arrupe Student Art Show. I made posters and told members of the Arrupe community to spread the word about Art Fellows. I was the only student employed as an Art Fellow, but it was not reaching the audience it was intended for, the students of Arrupe. Hence, I considered a new approach by suggesting to start a social media account called arrupeartfellowz. My Fine Arts Professor, Sussanah Strang, supported the idea and agreed that I would post on the account to promote workshops students could join and highlight their work. Over this Spring semester, more students came into workshops and for help on assignments, or started working with a new medium. I was delighted more students came in as I wanted the Art Studio to be a space they could find comfort and inspiration. I took pictures and videos to emphasize their work for the Arrupe community and others to enjoy.
My next mission was promoting an Art Show where all students could display their work. I made posters, handed out flyers and emailed teachers so students could turn in their artwork. Over 40 students submitted their work and the Design students had work from the Spring semester displayed. This experience allowed students to uplift themselves and inspired me to continue showing others the importance of insight, students’ ingenuity and community allowing me to be so proud to be a part of Arrupe.
Student Advisory Council
PCC’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) brings together students from 2 and 4-year colleges and universities across Illinois to learn about and advocate for greater equity and inclusion at their institutions.Click here to learn more about the SAC