Originally planning to play soccer at a Division 1 school, an injury during his senior year at Little Village High School made Pablo rethink not only his education, but his entire future.

His high school counselor encouraged Pablo to think about City Colleges of Chicago, because he would qualify for the Star Scholarship – a scholarship that pays for tuition and books while students complete an associate degree. Not overly excited about the prospect of attending school without playing soccer, Pablo registered for classes at Malcolm X College.

“I was devastated not to go to a four-year, but CCC helped me get back on track. Coming to Malcolm X College ended up being the best decision I could have made.”

His experience recovering from his injury helped him decide on a career in the healthcare field. “My doctor changed my life – I was having a lot of difficulty walking before having surgery and now I can play sports again. I want to make the same impact among people in my community, who don’t get the same healthcare opportunity people in wealthier neighborhoods.”

Set on a career as a dentist, he found himself a job in a dental clinic in his neighborhood where he takes x-rays and helps translate for Spanish-speaking patients, among other duties. Now, Pablo is graduating from Malcolm X College with his associate in science degree in spring of 2018 and will start classes in pre-dentistry at UIC in the fall. And another scholarship, the Dream US scholarship, will help pay for his bachelor’s degree.

He encourages other students to take advantage of the opportunities and resources that City Colleges provides: “Be as involved as possible and get to know the school as much as possible. CCC offers resources that you might not be aware of like tutoring, the Transfer Center, the Student Government Association – they provide a lot of support to help students achieve their goals and aspirations. You’ll find an amazing variety of opportunities.”

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