Tag: chicago

North Park Joins Community in Providing Much Needed Supplies to New Arrivals

North Park University gave away clothing, blankets, and supplies to more than 225 newly arrived migrants from Mexico and Venezuela who are currently housed in a former military base nearby.

Students, faculty, and staff at North Park University last month gave away clothing, blankets, and supplies to more than 225 newly arrived migrants from Mexico and Venezuela who are currently housed in a former military base nearby.

The 60 volunteers, comprising North Parkers and representatives from the North Park Community Association, Alderman Samantha Nugent’s office, Aramark, and other community groups, collected and distributed the items. They also hosted a lunch for the new arrivals—which included men, women, and children—featuring traditional Latin American food.

North Park held the event in Hamming Hall, and items distributed included coats, shoes, gloves, hats, undergarments, and blankets. Once news of the event spread through the community, people stepped forward to contribute. One local woman, a knitter, heard about the effort on social media and sent a message to her fellow knitters across the country. They responded by providing 500 hand-knit hats for the migrants. A group from Highland Park heard of the event and brought 10 carloads of donated clothing.

Tables and chairs set up in Hamming Hall for the attendees to enjoy a meal together.The event was an apt reflection of North Park’s mission, according to Tony Zamble, director of University Ministries.

“We are preparing students for lives of significance and service,” Zamble said. “Part of our mission is giving students the opportunity to experience the idea of God’s glory for neighbor’s good. These people are our neighbors; it’s a no-brainer that we would be involved.”

So many people donated, Zamble said, that the group hosted a second, smaller-scale event at Peterson Elementary School several days later. Zamble and Vice President for Student Engagement Frank Gaytan said they hope this event is a spark for similar efforts. One idea in discussion is developing student-led English language classes for the migrants.

“We do these things intentionally because it really is who we are,” Gaytan said. “And not just this single event with the migrants, but we want our students to serve all our neighbors, Chicago, and the world. This is who we are.”

In September, the City of Chicago approved the $1.5 million purchase of the former U.S. Marine Corps facility at 3034 W. Foster Ave. to house 500 migrants for up to 60 days each.

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High School Visit Day

High School Visit Day is a great way to get a jump-start on your college search. Designed specifically for current high school sophomores, juniors, and their families. This is a great opportunity to discover North Park and see if it is the right fit for you.

Highlights:
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about the college admissions process and financial aid
-Eat in our dining hall and get a glimpse of what life looks like as a Viking

RSVP

Choose NPU Day

Don’t wait to start your life at North Park University. All admitted students and their families are invited to Choose NPU Day. Experience daily life as a Viking! If you haven’t decided where to go this fall, this is your chance to ask questions, get to know our campus, and learn how North Park is the right fit for you.

Guests will experience the feeling of community at North Park. You’ll hear why current students fell in love with life on our campus and get to meet your future classmates. Learn everything you need to know about orientation, financial aid, housing, advising, and class registration so that you’re prepared to take the next steps in your college search journey.

RSVP

February Viking Preview Day

Viking Preview Days offer you a firsthand taste of the North Park University experience by allowing you to connect with our community and learn about our vibrant student life. Viking Preview Days are an ideal opportunity for students to take the next step in their college journey and discover what makes North Park special.

Highlights:
-Attend “Coffee with Coaches” and learn more about Viking Athletics (optional)
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about your admissions application and financial aid

RSVP

Event Schedule

November Viking Preview Day

Viking Preview Days offer you a firsthand taste of the North Park University experience by allowing you to connect with our community and learn about our vibrant student life. Viking Preview Days are an ideal opportunity for students to take the next step in their college journey and discover what makes North Park special.

Highlights:
-Attend “Coffee with Coaches” and learn more about Viking Athletics (optional)
-Are you a first-generation college student? Attend a session designed just for you! (optional)
-Connect with faculty from your intended major
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about your admissions application and financial aid

RSVP Schedule

October Viking Preview Day

Viking Preview Days offers you a firsthand taste of the North Park University experience by allowing you to connect with our community and learn about our vibrant student life. Viking Preview Days are an ideal opportunity for students to take the next step in their college journey and discover what makes North Park special.

Highlights:
-Attend “Coffee with Coaches” and learn more about Viking Athletics (optional)
-Are you a first-generation college student? Attend a session designed just for you!
-Connect with faculty from your intended major
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about your admissions application and financial aid

REGISTER Schedule

Fall Visit Day

Join us for Fall Visit Day and get an in-depth look at the classroom experience. Students and their families are welcome to explore our beautiful Chicago campus and learn about the value of a North Park education.

Highlights:

-Learn from our accomplished faculty and experience our innovative academic programs firsthand
-Tour our state-of-art science labs including, but not limited to Nursing Sim Lab and Carlson Athletic Training Center
-Pick and choose your activities from a list of hands-on workshops led by faculty
-Take a student-led campus tour of our urban oasis

RSVP Here!   SCHEDULE

Top Ten Ways to Survive—and Thrive—During Freshman Year of College

Transitioning into college can often be difficult, scary, and stressful—here are sophomore Macayla Dowling’s top ten recommendations for making the most of your first year.

Top Ten Ways to Survive—and Thrive­—During Freshman Year of College

A blog post by North Park Sophomore Macayla Dowling

Transitioning into college can often be difficult, scary, and stressful—especially if you are moving far away from home. Last year, I moved seven hours away from my small, rural community; needless to say, Chicago’s urban lifestyle was a major change for me. While my first year at North Park was one of the most trying years of my life, it was also one of the most successful years of my life. That said, here are my top ten recommendations for surviving—and even thriving—during your first year as a college student.

A young woman standing on a park pathway with the Chicago skyline behind her.

1. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone

Moving so far away from home and everything I have ever known was a huge leap out of my comfort zone, but I would not change it for the world. My first few weeks at North Park were awfully difficult, but pushing myself beyond what I found comfortable led to a year full of growth and life-changing experiences, which, I’ve come to realize, is exactly what college is all about. Seize every opportunity that comes to you—especially the ones outside of your comfort zone. Try new things and attend events you do not typically see yourself participating in because you might end up finding something that you really enjoy or making new friends!

2. Stay organized

Assignments and activities tend to build up quickly; the best way to keep everything under control is to stay organized. I find keeping separate folders, notebooks, or binders for each class really helps me keep track of everything. I never felt the need in high school to keep an academic planner because my assignments were easy to remember. As a college student, my philosophy has completely changed; I would be so lost without my planner. Recording everything—such as upcoming assignments and meetings—in an academic planner or your phone calendar is an extremely helpful way to stay on top of things.

3. Get involved with programs, teams, and clubs

My first semester at North Park I participated in the Catalyst program, where I met so many friendly people and learned a lot about Chicago. I even found something I was passionate about through my practicum. Fortunately, North Park offers an abundance of ways to get involved on campus. Programs—such as Catalyst, CRUX, or COMPASS—are perfect opportunities to build close relationships and engage in the city of Chicago. Joining sports teams, intramurals, and clubs are also great for meeting new people while pursuing interests. In order to enhance your college experience, I highly recommend getting involved with at least one organization.

Four young women smiling while riding a water taxi, downtown Chicago

4. Go to class, take notes, and don’t procrastinate

I found that one of the best ways to succeed in classes is to actually attend them. Although going to class may become tedious (especially near the end of the semester), it is still important to be present. Taking notes in class benefits me greatly when it comes to essays and exams, but notes can only be taken while attending class. Another tip for success is to procrastinate as little as possible; I attempt to get assignments done early because it guarantees that they will be turned in on time and allows more time for fun or relaxing because I’m not stressing out about assignments.

5. Attend campus events

Campus events help break the monotony of classes and assignments, so I always keep an eye out for fliers posted around campus. From Catalyst on Campus to the Cram Jam (my personal favorite), North Park hosts tons of events throughout the year. Attending campus events is another good way to meet new people, hang out with friends, or even learn something new. The best part about campus events is that they typically provide some type of free food, which is every college student’s ultimate dream.

6. Get a job

Let’s face it, college students aren’t exactly the wealthiest demographic; fortunately, there are numerous jobs available both on and off campus. During my second semester, I found that I had huge gaps in my schedule and decided that getting a job would be an incredibly productive way to fill those gaps. I constantly searched Career Hub and found a position as a student writer for University Marketing and Communications. As an English major, I really enjoy my job and found that working with UMC has provided me with beneficial work experience and has especially strengthened my writing skills.

7. Dedicate time to have fun

During the week, I work diligently, but I always reward myself by declaring Saturday a homework free day. I often find myself getting ice cream, discovering new things in the city, or playing board games with friends. College is often stressful, but that does not mean that it cannot be fun; it’s all about finding the perfect balance between productivity and excitement. Don’t don’t be afraid to set aside time each week to do something that makes you happy.

Four young women holding ice cream desserts in a small shop.

8. Keep in touch with your friends and family

Every day, I make sure to at least text my friends and family to let them know that I am thinking of them no matter the distance between us. Maintaining relationships with people from home is just as important as establishing new relationships at school, because while your new transition may be difficult for you, odds are that it is also difficult for them. No matter how busy you are, be sure to connect with your friends and family at least once a week to update them on how you’re doing and find out what’s going on back at home.

9. Explore the city

My heart was set on Chicago while searching for where to further my education, so when I got to North Park, I utilized my newfound freedom to begin exploring. Whether it be through one of the programs that North Park offers or with friends, get to know the city you live in. No two neighborhoods in Chicago are the same, making it an excellent city to immerse yourself in different cultures. It seems as if there is always an event happening somewhere; not to mention, there is a plethora of free activities to enjoy and over 7,300 restaurants to try. When using your Ventra card and Google Maps, the possibilities are endless!

10. Relax

I have noticed that I always feel like I need to be doing something productive, so I often need to remind myself to take a breather. Sometimes college can feel like a tremendous balancing act between classes, assignments, social life, and extracurricular activities. While it is important to focus on all of those, it is also vital to your health to incorporate time to yourself into the mix. Know that it’s okay to watch Netflix or take a much-needed nap from time to time. Make sure you are allowing yourself to relax after working hard; you deserve it!

Posted on Categories Blog, StoriesTags , , ,

A Catalyst Excursion: Engaging History and Intercultural Context Through Pilsen’s Murals

Every Wednesday, various Catalyst classes take excursions into the city, exploring topics of study through the lens of first-hand experience. On a recent excursion to the Pilsen neighborhood, Professor Lee Strickland’s Street Art class was treated to an in-depth tour of the area’s vibrant murals.

Every Wednesday, various Catalyst classes take excursions into the city, exploring topics of study through the lens of first-hand experience. On a recent excursion to the Pilsen neighborhood, Professor Lee Strickland’s Street Art class (a Keystone-3000 course) was treated to an in-depth tour of the area’s vibrant murals. Their knowledgeable tour guide, Luis Tubens from the National Museum of Mexican Art, was a powerhouse of insight, offering cultural and historical context to the artwork as well as relating the content to the day-to-day life of the community.

Tubens explained that while Pilsen was once largely populated by Polish and Czech immigrants, the 1960s brought major developments in infrastructure to neighboring areas which in turn displaced a large Latino population to Pilsen. For many, this forced migration echoed a longer journey. Gulliver en el pais de las Maravillas / Gulliver in Wonderland, a mural which stretches around the artist Hector Duarte’s home and studio, speaks poignantly to the immigrant’s journey and to the struggle of integrating into a new culture.

In addition to local history, Tubens discussed the history of murals and the role they have played in shaping communities and empowering their people. At the Orozco Community Academy, a venetian glass mosaic by Francisco Mendoza offered Tubens the perfect opportunity to discuss the Mexican mural movement led by Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. A few blocks away the work of contemporary artist, Sentrock, provided a bold example of pop art giving voice to a new generation. Some murals spoke to social challenges such as gun violence or conflicting cultural identities, while others represented the community efforts to address these challenges.

Professor Strickland says her class is not made up of art majors but, rather, many of them are studying political science or criminal justice. Her Street Art class is an opportunity for students to address what they are learning in their major studies through a completely different lens.

Learn More about Catalyst

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Real Stories of NPU: College in the City

“I left India when I was 17 to start college. Initially, it was hard to be away from home, but I was intentional about becoming involved with the campus community. As an international student, I don’t have family here, but North Park has become a family to me.”

Esther Uputuri, Nursing and Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, “I left India when I was 17 to start college. North Park is equipping me with resources to overcome challenges, better myself, and move one step closer to my dream every day. My professors are very encouraging and willing to help. Initially, it was hard to be away from home, but I was intentional about becoming involved with the campus community. As an international student, I don’t have family here, but North Park has become a family to me."

Esther Uputuri is a Junior earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. She is also a resident assistant, student ambassador, president of the South Asia Cultural Club, and member of the Nonprofit Club and International Justice Mission.

“I left India when I was 17 to start college.

I always thought I would come to the U.S. for my masters or for vacation, but I never expected to for my undergrad. It was definitely God-led. God, at the right time, brought people into my life to encourage me. When I arrived on my flight ten days before the semester started, it was a new beginning, and I was looking forward to seeing how my life would play out.

Living and studying in the middle of a large, world-class city has given me an opportunity to experience an urban perspective on life—to study and understand the fast-paced lifestyle and socio-economic diversity. City life gives me endless opportunities; whether they be vocational or educational, arts or entertainment, work or worship, I get to have a hands-on experience in the city. Access to more internships and other career-boosting experiences also adds to the appeal.

North Park is equipping me with resources to overcome challenges, better myself, and move one step closer to my dream every single day. My professors are amazing, especially the nursing and nonprofit professors. They are very encouraging and willing to help. Initially, it was hard to be away from home, but I was intentional about becoming involved with the campus community. As an international student, I don’t have family here, but North Park has become a family to me.

Living by yourself will challenge you in a lot of ways, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and it helps you reflect on who you are and what you have learned. It’s a tough world, and North Park is preparing me to be more independent.”

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