Danela Agoncillo credits her brother for encouraging her to dream big and achieve great things. The two have a lot in common.
Alid Alvarado earned her high school diploma at Malcolm X college, part of the City Colleges of Chicago.
After graduating from high school, DeMar English started his career in the corporate world, where he worked for 15 years. Feeling like he had “plateaued” mid-career, DeMar decided to enroll in classes at Malcolm X College. While he was initially nervous about going back to school, he soon found a supportive pathway and community at the college.
“[Malcolm X] really just gave me that foundation and the confidence I needed to continue my education,” DeMar said.
After graduating, he transferred to Rush University to earn his bachelor’s degree. At Rush, he discovered he wanted to help future nurses and other healthcare professionals pursue their dreams. He graduated in 2019 and was hired as an admissions specialist for the program he completed—the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program.
After working for a few years, DeMar decided to continue his education and pursue his master’s degree in business at National Louis University (NLU). Then, he was offered the opportunity to teach at Rush. During his first week in the role, DeMar “fell in love” with teaching. He found a Higher Education Leadership Program at NLU and is now pursuing his doctorate in the field.
“I thought I would come to Malcolm X, [and] I would do my two years… I never would have thought I would be, number one, teaching at a university like Rush, or in a doctoral program,” DeMar said. “[Malcolm X] changed my life.”