Posted by Cynthia Gonzalez on October 31, 2013
Growing up in Carol Stream, Ill., senior business administration major Tonika White always knew she wanted to study business. While she wasn’t sure what direction that dream would take her, White saw that there were many on-campus opportunities and a large potential for growth at Aurora University.
“I’m grateful that Aurora University has shaped me as a leader not only on campus, but in my community,” White said.
During her freshman year, White set a goal to be a part of the Dunham Scholars program, a program that seeks out a special kind of student, one chosen for his or her academic accomplishments, as much as for character, work ethic and potential. This unique group of students is then provided with an innovative academic experience that will prepare them to thrive and prosper in their communities and in a dynamic world environment.
With dedication to her studies and the community, White became a Dunham Scholar her junior year. This experience has allowed her to grow as a leader and network with a variety of people. White also has been a resident assistant for three years, is treasurer for both the Black Student Union and Fashion Loves You, a sister of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, and a Tier IV member of the Leadership Education and Development program.
“All of the organizations I am involved with have helped shaped the person I am today,” said White. “I think college is more than just getting the perfect grades or the degree, you have to make it what it is for you.”
While White stays busy with on-campus activities, she still makes time to reach out to the surrounding community. She works on poverty focused service projects in the Chicagoland area and recently had the opportunity to participate in the Glass Slipper Project with her sorority sisters. The non-profit organization gives away free prom dresses and accessories to high school juniors and seniors who are unable to afford these items themselves.
While hard work plays a large role in her current accomplishments, White thanks her family for playing a big role in her life. “I’ve accomplished so much because of the strong support of my mom,” she said. “My mother has showed me the importance of being independent and taking care of business.”
As she thinks about the future, she knows she’ll be able to take the experience from her last four years and move forward with her dream of traveling the world and joining the AmeriCorps to complete service projects in other states.