Western Springs woman reaches out to U of I alumni
|Christine Nicholson of Western Springs is hoping to reach more University of Illinois alumni in her new roles at the university. (Submitted photo)|
Current University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign senior Christine Nicholson is already giving back to the school long before she is expected to graduate.
Nicholson, a Western Springs native, is making an impact now and hoping her efforts will have a lasting effect as the president of Student Alumni Ambassadors as well as the student representative for the Board of Directors at U of I.
“I ran for president because I really believe in the initiative of what the student ambassadors do on campus, which is engaging students, faculty, staff and alumni with the campus community,” Nicholson said.
“We fall under the motto, ‘students now and forever.’ We are making sure that students are involved with the alumni and give back to the university that has given so much to them. That’s the thing I really believed in and wanted to be a part of on a bigger scale.”
Nicholson is responsible for putting together iHelp, which is an international day of service involving more than 2,000 students and 500 alumni volunteering their time to do service projects throughout the university.
iHelp also is paired with homecoming week, which invites alumni to a football game with current students.
“What I was really trying to get was to get people in the Chicago and suburban area engaged with the university and know there is this great resource on campus,” Nicholson said.
“Part of our mission is service and part of what we do is we take service requests, especially from alumni. They can contact us through the alumni association website and we will give them special tours or even have them come with their sons or daughters to get them to come to the university and let them show what it means to be an alum.”
Aside from her work with the alumni association, Nicholson is involved as the managing editor of the yearbook and within the Urbana-Champaign community starting a non-profit organization group called C-U, which offers afterschool tutoring for grade school and high school students provided by the students at U of I.
“It took a lot of reaching out to the school districts to make sure that something like this was OK,” Nicholson said. “A lot of students at U of I have had the privilege of having a good education at a top university.
“We usually have 10 to 15 kids in the community and there are about 10 to 15 tutors to match them up with. It’s usually one-on-one tutoring available. I wanted to make sure the kids benefited from the university.”
In the distant future, Nicholson sees a career in law as she is taking the LSAT this spring. But a few months out from graduation, Nicholson would like to continue working in the non-profit world and give back to the university that gave her so much.
“I definitely think I’ll always be a part of the alumni association even after I graduate,” she said. “U of I has given me a lot in my time here and I’m looking forward to giving back, just like so many alums have already done for the university.”
About Christine Nicholson
RESIDENCE Urbana-Champaign, originally from Western Springs
FAMILY Most family from Western Springs, younger brother currently a senior at Lyons Township High School
EDUCATION Lyons Township High School, currently a senior at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a double major in English and economics and a minor in leadership studies
JOB President of Student Alumni Ambassadors, student representative to the Board of Directors, managing editor for the college yearbook, teacher’s aid
HOBBIES Huge Illini sports fan
NOTABLE Mom also graduated from Lyons Township
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