When high school students go off to college, there are several challenges they must face inside as well as outside the classroom. Life doesn’t stop at the start of the semester. There are still family, personal, medical, and other types of issues that students must handle all while maintaining their grades and attendance. Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) scholarship recipient Erik Romo is an example of how hard work, perseverance, and a little support from those back home can help one make it through those tough times.


Erik graduated from East Chicago Central High School in 2011, when he received an FEC scholarship in the amount of $1,500. After graduation, Erik went on to study financial mathematics at Wabash College.


“Graduating from Wabash was not easy, but it taught me to keep on keeping on even when things get rough. Self-reliance, persistence, dedication, and perseverance helped me get through the countless late nights constantly hitting the books,” explained Erik.


However, like many students, academics were not the only challenges Erik faced while in college. He was also battling depression, ADHD, and anxiety. While these hurdles complicated Erik’s life, one thing he did not have to worry about was paying for college, as his scholarships took care of that. This allowed Erik to focus on himself and his grades.


“Wabash was a really tough four years given the personal issues I was going through. However, I never lost sight of my goal: walking across that stage,” he said.


Erik’s dedication and focus got him to graduation. Upon leaving Wabash, he received a job offer for a Logistics Freight Broker position, which he accepted. Now, Erik is ready to take the next step in his journey.


“In order to accomplish something globally, I need to begin locally. In other words, coming back home [to East Chicago] is perhaps a way of the universe telling me that I need to first change where I started in order to prove that I can do something as big as changing the world,” explains Erik, who wants to give back to the community that gave so much to him.


To learn more about FEC scholarship recipients and where they are now, visit www.FoundationsEC.org.


E. Romo