By Brady Martinson
North Park University
My start in college awareness and preparation began in 2010, when I moved to Chicago and joined the undergraduate admissions team at North Park University. The majority of my territory was made up of high school students in the city of Chicago. It was here that I discovered my passion for assisting young people through the college process. The purpose being to help students have a life-changing educational experience that positively impacts the trajectory of their lives and the communities they encounter.
My territory contained a high percentage of first-generation college students and I found it to be very fulfilling working with this population.
When I first started recruiting undergraduates, I had no idea if I would even enjoy it. I quickly realized that I absolutely loved it and also found it to be incredibly meaningful. North Park University is a very unique place that is Christian, urban, and intercultural. It allows people to ask life’s big questions in a supportive and accepting environment. Prospective students would always ask about the university and I would tell them about our diverse community that allows students to engage in topics ranging from race, faith, truth, and the environment in a way that values the many different voices and experiences that must shape our understanding of these topics. This is something that deeply connected with me and many of the students that I met on a daily basis. My territory contained a high percentage of first-generation college students and I found it to be very fulfilling working with this population. I knew my efforts to help navigate the admissions and financial aid process were making a tangible difference to my students and their families. Fast forward to today, my primary responsibilities are in the area of outreach to under-served and underrepresented populations.
This year that I finally decided to join the College Awareness and Preparation (CAP) Committee of IACAC to expand my work in this area beyond my role at North Park. Although I am just getting started on this committee, it has already been a valuable experience to meet other professionals at a variety of institutions and organizations. It is a great opportunity to do more of what I love, but also to learn from others, be a part of another team of great people, and have opportunities to expand my professional experiences. I am looking forward to what is ahead in the ever-changing landscape of college admissions.