Alexandra Turcios, a 2014 graduate of the College of Lake County from Waukegan, has been offered a prestigious Fulbright grant to teach English to high school students in rural Indonesia. Turcios graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2016 with a B.A. in political science.
She returned to CLC in January 2017 to work with the TRiO Educational Talent Search scholars program, offering college preparation assistance to Round Lake High School students.
“This award means so much to me,” Turcios said. “I’m the only one of Latino descent in my Fulbright cohort. It shows that with hard work and perseverance, it doesn’t matter where you come from, or if you attended a community college or a prestigious university, that it’s possible to get one of these awards.”
Turcios said her love for international travel was sparked by participating in CLC’s study abroad experience in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in 2013, followed by a trip to India while she was a U. of I. student.
Turcios was among just 14 U. of I. students and young alumni selected for student Fulbright grants to pursue international educational, research and teaching experiences in Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, designed to build international relations to solve global challenges, is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.
“The Fulbright program has chosen to invest in these young scholars because of their grit, trajectory and immense ambassadorial potential,” said David Schug, director of the National and International Scholarships Program.
At Illinois, Turcios worked as a research assistant at the Cline Center for Democracy and was a physics teaching assistant. She co-founded and led the Association of Minorities in Political Science. After graduation, she served on the policy and communications team at the Illinois Office of the Lieutenant Governor before coming to work at College of Lake County in January 2017.
After her Fulbright year, Turcios will pursue a master’s degree in public policy, focusing on educational policy to close achievement gaps among marginalized groups such as women and the poor. While teaching in Indonesia, she plans to create a pen pal project between Indonesian and American students.
—Waukegan college student receives Fulbright grant —