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Success Stories

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Eric Lund, 2015 Valedictorian
AA Degree, 2015   
Wilbur Wright College   
Eric Lund is a manager and analyst for an insurance marketing company.  Eric has 22 years of experience working in Finance.  He received his associate degree from Wilbur Wright College, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class, and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.  Eric grew up in western Massachusetts, but moved to Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 20.  His employer relocated him to the Chicago area in 2010. Eric has one son, Chad, who is 29 years old, and two grandsons; Pacey, age 4 and Noah, age 2.
Eric says that going back to school was tough at first. Being a professional for over 20 years, it was shocking and overwhelming for him. For the first time in a long time, he had to make real sacrifices about how he managed his free time. Thanks to Wright College’s robust online program, Eric completed his degree on his time, on his terms. Even in the online medium, he always got help when he needed, or in some cases -- thanks to his 20+ years in finance -- helped others when they needed help.
Eric loves animals and has a beloved Boxer named Duncan. Eric’s goal is to finish his education, and open a dog hotel and daycare. Currently, Eric is enrolled at the University of Illinois at Springfield, in the Bachelor of Business Administration program, with the goal of graduating in May 2017.
Lucia Pules    
GED Graduate, 2014    
Wilbur Wright College    

Upon Lucia Pules’ arrival in the United States from Mexico in 2011, she felt that “it seemed impossible to succeed” because she did not speak English.    

A neighbor informed Lucia about a free English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) class at Wright College and she signed up for classes in the fall semester of 2011. After just two months of studying English at Wright College, Lucia advanced to the third and fourth levels of English.    

Still, Lucia had much more to accomplish. In Fall 2012, she enrolled in free GED classes at Wright’s Humboldt Park campus. During the Spring 2013 semester, Lucia applied to receive her GED and passed the Constitution test on the first try. By February, Lucia had passed the entire exam except for the writing portion, which she passed in Fall 2013. “I was shocked,” Lucia said, “but realized this is what can happen when I can envision all of my goals.”    

Lucia entered the Healthcare Bridge Program in the fall of 2013 and recently completed BIO120, a credit class, where she learned medical terminology. Lucia’s goal is to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. “This program gave me the confidence to know that I have the help I need to succeed,” said Lucia.    

“As one of Lucia’s teachers for the Bridge program I had the privilege of witnessing her commitment toward learning,” said Adult Educator Ms. Jan, “Lucia never missed a day of class. She was always prepared with an unending desire for knowledge.”    

Of her journey, Lucia said, “I can definitely say that without the help of all my teachers and the personnel working in these two amazing places, I wouldn’t be here succeeding.” Lucia is excited to start classes in the Gateway to the City Colleges of Chicago Program.    




Carl Allen, 2014 Valedictorian     
AA Degree     
Class of 2014      

Wright College 2014 valedictorian Carl Allen was born in Chicago and spent most of his childhood on the West Side in North Lawndale. He was homeschooled as a child.     

In 2006, he moved to Kankakee, Illinois, where he worked at Lorenzo Smith Elementary School in IT support. Four years later, he returned to Chicago, began attending Wright College and is now graduating at the top of his class and earning his Associate in Arts degree.     

Carl is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and completed courses in the Great Books and Global Studies programs.     

Carl credits his professors and parents with providing the support he needed to achieve at the highest levels. Academically, he credits Wright’s Math Tutoring Center and its interactive, hands-on focus, for turning his math struggles into success. He also utilized Wright’s Writing Center for support and ideas.     

Carl advises students to ask for help from their professors and to take advantage of all of the resources available to them through Wright College.     

Carl’s favorite subjects at Wright included literature and political science. With interests in web design and writing, Carl is considering studying graphic design, journalism or digital media at a four-year college or university.     


Wright College GED - Stephen K web.jpgStephen Kosek    
GED Graduate, 2013       
Wilbur Wright College       
Stephen Kosek struggled academically in high school and dropped out a decade ago. He enrolled in a GED program a few years after high school but family commitments took precedent so he wasn’t able to finish. He returned to the GED courses in January 2012 and learned about City Colleges’ Gateway program which gave him the motivation he needed to pass the GED and enroll in college courses, all while holding three different retail jobs. The Gateway program provides Adult Education students an opportunity to continue their studies at the City Colleges by taking college credit courses at a reduced cost while receiving academic and social support. It also helped Stephen realize that he could be a college student, something he had never considered before. Stephen is excited to pursue an associate degree at Wright College with the goal of going into a health-related career.    


Edgar and Mario Arroyo
GED Graduates, 2013
Wilbur Wright College


Edgar Arroyo came to Wright College to earn his GED so he could qualify for a promotion at work. Unfortunately he was laid off from his job before he could finish the program. That gave him the ability to check out the Gateway Program and advance his education. Edgar has new goals in mind now: earning his associate degree, transferring to a four-year institution to pursue his bachelor's degree and earning his photography certification to work as a professional photographer. His success and drive inspired his younger brother Mario to return to school as well. They received their GED certificates together.       

Roger Burt
A.S. Degree
Class of 2013

Wright College 2013 valedictorian Roger Burt discovered a passion for mathematics at Wright College and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the subject. He enjoyed working as a senior tutor in Wright College’s Math Lab, helping students improve their math skills and would like to teach college math someday. Roberg followed in his father’s footsteps as the second generation of his family to graduate from Wright College.



Kaitlyn Mott - grad -web.jpgKaitlyn Mott    
A.A. Degree       
Class of 2013       
Kaitlyn Mott took advantage of the many clubs at Wright College including Phi Theta Kappa, Great Books Student Society and the History Club. She participated in the University of Illinois-Chicago Guaranteed Admissions Transfer (GAT) program, a program that guarantees admission to select UIC colleges for City Colleges of Chicago students. Kaitlyn will major in psychology with a focus on neuroscience and a minor in women’s studies at UIC and plans to continue on to graduate school.