At the April 18 meeting of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees, Sebastian Dargatz was recognized as the outgoing Student Trustee to the BOT and was given a plaque by the Board. He was also recognized as the winner of the Paul Simon Essay Competition at Kishwaukee College for his essay A Complete Transformation. As the Simon Award winner, Dargatz received reimbursement of his Spring 2012 tuition and his essay will be entered into the state competition. Pictured L to R is Bob Johnson, Chair of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees; Sebastian Dargatz; and Dr. Tom Choice, President of Kishwaukee College.Dargatz selected 2012 Simon Essay winner at KC
At the April 18 meeting of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees, Sebastian Dargatz was recognized as the outgoing Student Trustee to the BOT and was given a plaque by the Board. He was also recognized as the winner of the Paul Simon Essay Competition at Kishwaukee College for his essay A Complete Transformation. As the Simon Award winner, Dargatz received reimbursement of his Spring 2012 tuition and his essay will be entered into the state competition. Pictured L to R is Bob Johnson, Chair of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees; Sebastian Dargatz; and Dr. Tom Choice, President of Kishwaukee College.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Sebastian Dargatz, Sycamore, has been selected as the winner of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) Paul Simon Student Essay Contest at Kishwaukee College. Dargatz received a certificate and reimbursement of his Spring 2012 tuition and fees from the Board of Trustees at their monthly meeting held April 18. Dargatz’s essay will now be entered in the statewide competition to possibly earn an additional $500 stipend to be used toward his Fall 2012 educational expenses.
The Paul Simon Essay Contest is held annually. Each community college in the state of Illinois is invited to hold an essay competition for its students, select the best essay submitted at their school, and forward that essay to the state-level competition. The essays submitted are required to be no more than 500-words on the topic “How My Community College Changed My Life.” Dargatz’s winning essay, titled A Complete Transformation, detailed his development from an average student to a scholarship level student and his journey in becoming a student leader on campus. If his essay is selected as the statewide winner, Dargatz will be invited to the annual ICCTA Conference in June.
At the April 18 meeting, Dargatz was also honored by the Board of Trustees for his service as the Student Trustee for the 2011-12 academic year. The Student Trustee is elected by the College’s student body to represent student interests and concerns on the Board of Trustees. Gladys Sanchez was installed as the Student Trustee for the upcoming 2012-13 academic year.
Paul Simon Essay Competition
A Complete Transformation
by Sebastian Dargatz, Kishwaukee College student
In high school I just went through the motions, and I did what came easily. I hardly ever did my homework if I didn’t get it completed during school. Luckily, I was able to keep a GPA above 3.0. I got involved minimally in clubs and sports during high school. All in all, I was unmotivated and spirally downward.
I went to community college because I didn’t know what to do with my life. Having no inspiration, I didn’t want to spend money, but my parents, both of whom work in education, wanted me to go to college. So over the summer I knew I needed to change, and paying for my education changed me. In high school I was “Max” or “Dar.” But, upon starting at Kishwaukee College, I was transformed into a new personality with more passion than before: “Sebastian Dargatz.”
First, I started to do all my homework. I formed bonds with some of my instructors that motivated me to want to excel in their subjects. I worked so hard my first semester that I was able to get an A+ in four of my five classes.
Next, I chose to get involved in many organizations on campus. This involvement has helped keep me interested in school and kept me working hard. I became involved in Student Government, Intercultural Students Association, Latinos Unidos, and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa. I then continued my personal enrichment by taking the Leadership Development course, and completing i~Lead, which is Kishwaukee College’s personal leadership development for students. Such opportunities were available to me because I attended a community college.
Along with campus involvement, I found myself working hard off campus as well. My pastor saw the change in me and asked if I would be a confirmation small-group mentor. This was very important to me, because I formed strong bonds with young people and grew in my own faith along the way. Also, I had enough determination to become an Eagle Scout. Feeling that I could help out new scouts as they progressed, I became an Assistant Scout Master. It is amazing the change I see in the growth of the boys and girls from both confirmation and scouting over the last three years, and I feel it reflects the changes in me, as well.
Financially, attending community college helped me to save money to study abroad last year. Spending a semester abroad really opened my eyes and forever changed how I see the world around me. This is an experience I would not have had if not for my community college.
In the years I have spent at Kishwaukee College, I have matured and grown in many ways. I am now the President of our Phi Theta Kappa chapter, the Student Representative on the Board of Trustees, and have decided to study mechanical engineering as I transfer to a university next year. All of these accomplishments and growth resulted from my experiences at my community college.