While many students view a 4.0 GPA as the pinnacle of an academic career, for Carlos Luna, it’s just the beginning.
Luna, who is the first member of his family to attend college, is working on his associate’s degree at Arrupe College and plans to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in political science. He’s involved in several groups on campus and works as a math tutor—all while balancing two fellowships and a research study.
Here, he talks about his first few days at Loyola, three mentors who push him to succeed, and how he will use his education to help others achieve their dreams too.
What’s your favorite Loyola memory?
It would have to be Arrupe’s Summer Program at LUREC for a weekend retreat. It was the first exposure I had to Loyola. I was both excited and nervous for the new experiences and relationships I would build. It was a time filled with laughter, fun, and great food, but most importantly, reflection on our past and what we hoped to achieve in the future.
Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.
I am so grateful for all of the professors who have supported me on my journey through higher education. Professors Aurora Chang, Jennifer Boyle, and Minerva Ahumada have been the most influential toward helping me reach my goals and inspiring me to succeed inside and outside class. They motivate me, challenge me, and help me find my passion.
Tell us about your volunteer work and/or involvement in student organizations and what it means to you.
In my first semester, I started the Dreamers and Allies Student Organization (DASO), a social justice club providing support and promoting awareness toward undocumented students. I have also served as secretary for the Student Government of Arrupe College. Through my involvement, I hope to make a better community and atmosphere—just as I hope one day to improve things throughout the city.
Any advice you would give students about how to get the most out of their time at Loyola?
Take advantage of all opportunities offered to you. Get to know your professors, because they are invested in your education and want to see you succeed. I find myself very fortunate to continue my education as I am a first-generation, low-income college student. We have the responsibility to take advantage of the education provided to us to help those who are not able to receive such an education.
And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
I want to pursue a career within government and/or nonprofit because I want to be able to help immigrants and others who are discriminated against and denied basic human rights. I want to contribute to policy-making so that everyone, regardless of their background, has equal access to a better future.
On Friday, November 4, 2016, Loyola University Chicago celebrated the inauguration of Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, as the University’s 24th president. The theme for Dr. Rooney’s inauguration was “Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World.” Photo Gallery