The opportunity to pursue her postsecondary education as well as compete in intercollegiate athletics led Deriniece Moton to Wilbur Wright College after she graduated from Senn High School on the city’s North Side in June 2017.
“By going to Wright, I was able to further my education and play basketball while doing it,” Deriniece said. “I was thinking about going away to college at first, but I heard great things about the school and the basketball team from two of my former teammates (Samantha DeLaGarza and Lucy Mileykovsky), who graduated from Senn one year before me and went to Wright. They had nothing but good things to say.”
Deriniece excelled both academically and athletically during her two years at Wright, graduating with an Associate in Arts degree in May 2019. She compiled a 3.68 cumulative grade-point average in a curriculum that included Calculus & Analytic Geometry I, II and III as well as linear algebra.
Deriniece received the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Academic Award – Second Team in 2017-18. On the basketball court, she averaged 5.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game during her two-year career as a point guard.
In August 2019, Deriniece transferred to Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where she is majoring in applied mathematics, participating on the Scarlet Hawks’ women’s basketball team and serving on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
Along with scholarship money from IIT, Deriniece is also benefitting from being a City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Star Scholar as she is able to utilize money from that fund to help offset her costs. In addition, she received a $1,000 scholarship from the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.
Derenice’s original goal was to become a mathematics professor. However, she is considering other potential careers, thanks in part to an Introduction to the Profession mathematics course that she is currently enrolled in at IIT.
“This class has blown my mind away with all the opportunities that applied math majors have,” Deriniece said. “You can literally do anything with this degree. I am unsure of what I want to do now because of the endless possibilities.”
One thing Deriniece is sure of is that Wright readied her for the academic rigors at IIT.
“Wright definitely prepared me for IIT. The math professors at Wright are fantastic and prepared me for the classes I’m in now,” Deriniece said. “Professor Buchcic was not joking when he said that calculators are not used at universities. He was a tough professor, and now I see why. His tactics as a professor prepared me exactly for IIT’s standards.”
Along with the professors, Deriniece is also appreciative of the support she received outside the classroom.
“All of the people I encountered at Wright were great. From the professors to the coaches to the advisors. I gained so much from everyone,” Deriniece said. “If I had to pick one word to describe my experience at CCC, I would choose knowledgeable since it describes my experiences in the classroom as well as on and off the basketball court. I gained so much knowledge these past two years.”