Engage Columbia Winners

Published on Nov 15, 2016
Engage Columbia winner, Angelica Trygar speaks at Columbia Weekend.Engage Columbia winner, Angelica Trygar speaks at Columbia Weekend.

By Neal Steichen

Columbia College Chicago has selected the first winners of the Engage Columbia contest. This contest encourages new students at Columbia to get involved not only on campus, but also in a variety of events in the Chicago community. Engage Columbia seeks to have students gain a deeper understanding of community, resources, healthy and safety, finance, diversity and career opportunities on campus. After attending an event, students could receive a sticker for one of the previous categories and once all 6 stickers have been collected, cards could be turned in for the scholarship drawing. As a reward, the six students below received scholarships for attending a number of events. Five of the students were available for comment. Here is what they had to say about the experience.

Anh Chu is coming to Columbia from Seattle, Washington after immigrating to the United States about two years ago. Chu is looking to major in cinema with a possible focus in directing. Though the excitement of the Engage Columbia events blended them together in her mind, Chu is definitely excited to come to the college. “Columbia is totally different from my previous college. There are more people, bigger city, and especially artists are everywhere. That creates more opportunities for my future career.”

East Side Chicago native Kevin Rivera is joining the Cinema Arts + Science program in the hopes of becoming an animator and an actor. Though it was a difficult choice for him as well, Rivera’s favorite event was Deafness and Awareness. “I felt so connected personally with the people around me and I had gotten to learn so much from everyone. Getting to see the amount of people still live their lives to the fullest, having fun, and communicating was just beyond belief; truly mind-blowing to me.”

Another Illinois native, Angelica Trygar is coming to Columbia from Park Ridge to study Vocal Performance and Musical Theatre. For Trygar, there was no question about her favorite event was. “My favorite Engage event that I attended was Riley Fest. I loved how we were able to meet other students and I enjoyed creating flower crowns, having Fruve smoothies and food that included vegan options!”

Engage Columbia Winner, Angelica Trygar Speaks at Columbia Weekend

Tina-Kim Nguyen had a bit further to travel, coming from Converse, Texas to study acting here at Columbia. Nguyen is excited to be surrounded by other artists in such a rich community. Her favorite event was traveling to Chicago’s Chinatown with the Asian Student Organization. “It was a great introduction to the ASO, I met new friends and learned to use the train system.”

Alexis Lebrón also had quite a distance to travel, being born and raised in Puerto Rico. Lebrón chose to come to Columbia College Chicago to study film and directing, though she also is very interested in musical theatre. Lebrón’s favorite event from Engage Columbia was the Salsa Night, which she says was a great chance to spend time with new friends and get back to her own roots. She is also very excited about coming to Columbia and the city, saying, “I’m in this amazing city full of opportunity, new friends, new experiences and just a whole lot to do for the future. I am in love with the school and all the things it has to offer.”

New Student Programs will continue the Engage Columbia Program in Fall 2017, so stay tuned for more events and information next year.  We hope to have more scholarship opportunities and to increase the amount of student participants and campus partners.