Sandra Lee is a sophomore English major at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the same college her mom went to and the same college we visited last weekend. She grew up in Northbook, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago, and chose to attend UIC because it's close to home, she has friends there, and being close to an urban area offers a lot of opportunities. Sandra has found herself learning more in college than she did in high school. "The best thing about college is that you can pick your classes," she says. "You can learn what you want to learn." Sandra's goal is to become a high school English teacher. She wants to go straight into teaching after college.
Sandra is in her first year as a mentor at Cabrini Connections. She works with Northtown Academy Senior Alexis Montgomery, a five year veteran in the program, and they've hit it off extremely well. Sandra has tutored really young kids before, but she wanted to get hands-on experience at a place like Cabrini Connections to confirm that teaching in high school is what she wants to do. "To work with someone in high school inspired me to stick with education," says Sandra. "I love Alexis. I feel lucky to have her."
In her spare time, Sandra loves to shop, read, and spend time with family and friends. She has a large extended family and is looking forward to big family parties over the holidays. Her favorite time of year is Christmas time in Chicago with the big Christmas tree in Daley Plaza and ice skating in Millennium Park. Though she may go to New York to teach for a few years, ultimately Sandra wants to stay around Chicago and start a family in the suburbs.
At present, Sandra is assisting Alexis with her college search and applications for admission. "[Alexis] has so much to offer," says Sandra. "She's such a bright girl... She can make a whole room smile." With that kind of support, I know Alexis is bound for great things. Thanks, Sandra, for being such a great mentor right off the bat.