Many first year students are getting use to the idea of college. College can be hard especially balancing school work and personal life. Sometimes students do not know where to ask for help, or for an advice. There are other times where a student is just afraid of asking for help. Jennifer Juarez, an advisor at LARES says that she understands where students come from because she had the same college experience since she got her undergraduate degree at UIC.
“Our student perspective back in the day kinda helps the student a lot. Just like Cristian and Jamie, who are juniors at UIC, regrets not going to LARES their freshman year. They go to LARES for tutoring. LARES is an academic support group for students. LARES is an acronym for Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services Program. LARES assist UIC at recruit Latinos and helping them by providing academic support to help students succeed. The location for LARES is at the Student Services Building (SSB). The SSB is next to the Pavilion. When a student walks in the LARES office, they would notice the door being open.
The couple times the student goes back again they would find the door being open. The open door can signified that the students are always welcome, it shows a friendly environment and LARES advisors are there to help the student. A student can feel more comfortable with the door open. Not only is the door open, but the people who are working at the front desk also greets the student with a smile. They would ask with the same smile if the student has an appointment or needs help. As a student, waits in the lobby for their advisor, the chairs are in a circle. The chairs face each other.
The order of the chair or the arrangement can indicated that LARES advisors wants the students to greet each other. There is a table in the middle of the chairs. On top of the table a student can find flyers about upcoming events at LARES and UIC. There is also a flyer with the advisors and their information. There are orange, reddish, and brownish leaves hang around the wall. The decorations in LARES makes the office look more peaceful and friendly. Jennifer Juarez, one of many advisor told me in a interview that she is thrill to be working with LARES. She was recruit by LARES program while being in high school.
The program LARES helped her with the admission in UIC. After she received an acceptance letter she decided to attended to UIC. At the beginning she wanted to do Journalism, but then she was in a program call Valor. Within the program she would help students with math, english, and music. “I started noticing that a lot of Latino students didn’t understand what it meant by going to college. ” She started working with students at a high school. She enjoy working for the community, so she decide to go back to UIC and work with students at UIC. Most of the advisors from LARES graduated from UIC.
Jennifer is just a representation for most of the advisors from LARES. Being a graduated from UIC it helps the advisors get into student perspective. Jennifer talks about giving advice to students about which class to take and which one not to. “If any of the students says, ‘Omg that professor is so hard,’ I tell them ‘Yeah I had that professor. Actually this is what helped me get through that class. There are sometimes where I am, ‘ohhh I took that class you do not want to take that class unless you are very serious about science. ’” In the quote, Jennifer gives an example of a conversation between her and students.
LARES also work with both parents and students. They do workshops for all admitted students so they can meet the staffs and ask asking about financial aid or anything. The parents can also come to LARES with their student and ask questions to the advisor. Jennifer said that she likes working with parents too especially when they have all these questions that she can answer. Juarez also said the following about LARES is not only for latinos, “It does not matter if you are latino or you are not latino it does not matter either this resources (by resources Jennifer is referring to LARES) help any student out.
We’re proud and excited to be working with another Non-Latino students. They learn from us, but also we learn from them. It is important piece to work with all of them because we all might have similar experience. ” LARES does not only focus at academic, but in emotions too. “For us at LARES we don’t only focused at the academic, but also understand that the emotional and health pieces is also very important to making sure why the student is successful or not at UIC. “ There is another room called the Cesar E. Chavez Room. The room is in the right as the student enters the lobby.
The room is where the tutoring happens or where you (as the student) can go in the room and study on your own. When you walk in the room you notice a blackboard with two graduation caps and the words “Before I graduate. ” There are various different goals like “I want to be a national champ” to “Travel to places in need. ” The goals are directed quotes from the board, so they might have some grammatical issues. The blackboard shows the goals of the students that they want to accomplish before they graduate. It shows that LARES cares for their students.
There is a plaque of Cesar Chavez with a quote of his and a quick information about him. In the Chavez room there is a computer lab where two students that were using the computers for homework. Inside the computer room, there are news articles enlarge and frame in the wall. The articles are based on the “Chicago Illini” (UIC newspaper) and some of the articles is based on the latin events that happened in campus before LARES form. The girls that were doing their homework said that they come to LARES often to take advantage of the resources provide like the computers and printing.
Which they find useful because when the library gets full then it can usually be a backup plan. When there is tutoring at LARES like chemistry for example. The students looks relaxed and comfortable. These two words are not what someone would expect because the student would usually feel tense about the subject. The students at LARES are friendly to each other and helpful. The instructor in charge of the tutoring session even made a joke with them and laugh. Students would come and leave out the room smiling to each other.
Jamie and Critian are juniors who attend to LARES tutoring and they help each other and explaining how they came up with their own answers. Another students who goes to tutoring seem to be doing the same thing and helping each other. Jamie finds LARES to be very helpful and “without the tutoring I would not be passing my chemistry class. ” She also said that, “My advisor helped me find the path to my career. I knew what I wanted to do with my professional career and they just guide me to that path. ” Cristian did not started coming to LARES his freshman year which he regrets, “ No, I came here my sophomore year.
Wish I could have come here my freshman year. ” I asked them if them how they met. If they met through the LARES tutoring sessions. Cristian said that he meet Jamie during the tutoring sessions and after they first meet they been helping each other. LARES is a friendly program that can help a student in various ways. Jamie comment about LARES that “it is a good place to get help and meet new friends. ” Jennifer Juarez also says that, “Aside from me being an advisor I become like an older sister or become like a rodel model to the students. ”