Student balances life, studies and work with ease

Jacob Flores

At George Williams College, students are challenged not only by a full course load of classes, but also through numerous activities including volunteer opportunities, school interests, projects and part-time jobs. How do they do it? “The most important thing is time management,” said social work major Jacob Flores, ’16. “Having all of these responsibilities gives me an outlet to be engaged throughout campus day and night. I enjoy having interaction with peers whom I might not have known through classes alone.”

The college experience is a juggling act for Flores, who works at GWC’s College Inn and The Conference Center. “I really like working with other students as it gives us a chance to connect on the school-work-life balance,” he expressed. “Also, because the College Inn and the Conference Center are open to the community, I get to meet new people including local folks or others just visiting the area.”

Beyond work experience, Flores is involved in campus activities such as being a student leader during this year’s Welcome Weekend. “One of my favorite memories was during my week at GWC when all of the students came together to do some team building activities,” he explained. “It was the first time we interacted and started to become a family. I wanted to be a part of that experience for the new students.”

In addition to work and student activities, Flores is a full-time student. As a social work major, he discovered his passion for helping people through a service project as part of a first-year course. At Delavan’s Turtle Creek Elementary School, he assisted children with their reading techniques, helping students improve their skills over the course of fall semester. In the spring Flores returned to the school to volunteer on his own. “I enjoyed making connections with the kids and seeing their skills improve, so I wanted to continue the work,” he said. “After a while I started to listen to the students’ backgrounds, about their families and where they came from. This made me think about studying social work as I’m excited to learn about relationships, the way people are who they are and how they develop.”

Hailing from Elgin, Illinois, Flores chose George Williams College because of the atmosphere and the close proximity to home. “I wanted a college that was far enough away from my hometown to feel independent, but close enough to still be connected to my family,” Flores said. “Once I saw the college and started to connect with other students, I knew this was for me.” The concept of a smaller campus and tight-knit community also appealed to Flores. “I don’t feel overwhelmed because everything I need from class to work to activities is close by.”

Flores looks forward to his future at GWC. “I’m excited to be in some core classes this year where we will learn about social work in groups,” he said. “I’m interested in sitting in on some community help groups and learning how different people can come together through a common problem.”