Gerald Davenport has dreamed of becoming an engineer since he was in third grade. However, after graduating from Brother Rice High School and trying out a four-year college, he struggled along the academic path that would allow him to fulfill his dream. He wasn’t able to fully focus on his studies, and he made several attempts to further his education before being officially diagnosed with ADHD. That diagnosis helped him understand the type of learning and support he needed out of a school – and ultimately led him to Daley College.
In 2019, the South Side resident recalled a conversation he had years before with his counselor at Brother Rice about Daley. She said the college would help him prepare for his future, and Gerald hoped that would still hold true today. He thought, “let me give Daley a chance,” and officially started courses in January 2020 to work towards his Associate in Engineering Science degree.
As part of the Transfer Pathways program, Gerald enrolled in math, physics, and engineering courses, earning his first “A” and the highest score in his class on his first math exam. At that point, he knew something was different about the type of instruction he was receiving at Daley, and he credits Dr. Anita Ramirez and Dr. Cyrill Oseledets, two of his professors, with supporting him both in and out of class.
In fact, Dr. Oseledets introduced Gerald to the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (CAURS) earlier this year, asking Gerald to support his research on noncommutative quantum calculus and then present the findings at the virtual event. It was an opportunity Gerald believes will benefit him both personally and professionally for years to come.
Beyond the quality instruction, Gerald says he’s also received quality support from Daley. After his car was totaled last year, Julie MacCarthy, the college’s Director of Career Planning and Placement, recommended a program to help Gerald pay off one of his bills. He’s also been able to utilize the school’s Disability Access Center, counseling services from its Wellness Center, and more.
“Not only do the people at Daley want you to succeed, but they provide the support you need to get there,” Gerald said. “I’ve never had a school support me like that.”
After he earns his associate degree, Gerald looks forward to one day earning his master’s degree and fulfilling the same dream he’s had since third grade – becoming an engineer.