Empowering Communities

First-generation college student chases dream

January 2, 2020

As a child, Daniel Flores knew he wanted to become an engineer. But as many students know, paying for college isn’t easy. 

Flores is now a sophomore electrical engineering major at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). As the first person in his family to go to college, he hopes he can inspire his three younger siblings to do the same.

 “I want to represent the Latino community in STEM and make my family proud,” he said.

Thanks to a scholarship from ComEd, he can now focus on his education.

“I come from a low-income family, but now I don’t have to worry about any financial burden,” Flores said. “Because of the scholarship, all my attention can be on getting a degree.”

Daniel Flores receiving scholarship

Along with Flores, another student from UIC and two students from Illinois Institute of Technology are the first recipients of the scholarship, which fills the tuition gap not covered by financial aid for the rest of their undergraduate careers.

“To have this significant contribution from ComEd is indicative of our original intention, providing support for high achieving students who ordinarily wouldn’t have resources to succeed at another level,” said Kendal Parker, director for UIC’s CHANCE Program.

ComEd plans to expand the ComEd Scholars program every year by supporting students in STEM, creating mentorship and internship opportunities for recipients.

“As a future engineer, I want to bring new ideas to the table,” Flores said. “Now I am getting the opportunity to do that.”