Wilfredo Najarro is a Political Science and Nonprofit and NGO Studies major from Lake Villa, IL
Hometown: Lake Villa, IL
Year: Expected graduation: May 2020
Are you attending NIU on any scholarships?
Yes, the Doherty Erickson Scholarship and an NIU Scholars Award
Why did you choose to attend NIU?
I wanted smaller class sizes so I could receive individualized attention. As a first-generation college student, this was important to me. NIU really sold me on the idea that I would be put in a position to succeed and, truthfully, I have. NIU also offered the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships. I thought this was valuable because I was a bit uncertain at the time where my career would head. NIU is also affordable.
Do you have any favorite activities or events at NIU?
I have served as president of the Pre-Law Honors Society, I helped found the Moot Court team here, and I am currently the vice president of logistics for the Mock Trial program. I also am tutor for the ACCESS department and a peer educator coach for the UNIV program. I enjoy going to the recreation center.
What do you like about campus and the DeKalb area?
I like how connected everything is on campus and the way in which events intertwine to get students involved. The DeKalb area offers many organizations dedicated to bettering the community and helping marginalized groups.
What has your experience inside the classroom been like at NIU?
It has been fantastic. Political science faculty members are fully committed to their students. They don't just care about you passing a class, they care about you developing yourself as an individual and as a professional. They are always looking for opportunities for their students to push themselves. The NGO faculty are equally as great. They want their students to have hands-on experience and succeed and are always available to students. The sociology department is also committed to students, with faculty members encouraging students to think as intellectuals. Everyone in these departments looks at you as a human being, rather than just a student. They really care about your well-being and want you to succeed.
What is something you have experienced at NIU that you will be able to take with you into future endeavors in your field?
Learning never stops. Everything you do in life offers an opportunity to learn. Through my various student organizations and internships, I have learned things that I could not have learned in the classroom. It is so important to be vigilant and just soak in what you can.
What is up next for you after your time at NIU?
I plan to go to law school. My ultimate career goal is to become an attorney.
Would you recommend NIU to others and why?
I would absolutely recommend NIU to others. NIU offers individualized attention and puts you in a position to succeed. NIU also offers a lot of opportunities for professional development. Some general advice I would give someone starting college is that it’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Frankly, I don’t think most people have every detail of their lives planned out. Just choose something you love to do, and eventually you will find your way. There are so many resources to help you along the path: your professors, friends, family and advisers.