A Cardinal First graduate with her mother and sister at graduation.

Cardinal First Family Stories

Amanda Richardson

Mother of Mynk Richardson-Clark ’20

Mynk wants to make a difference in the world, and I know she will. Right now, she’s exactly where she’s meant to be. She has found her people – people who get who she is, her humor, her ambition, her bravery. It’s important for all of us to find people like that – and Cardinal First provides a welcoming and diverse community for students to do that. At North Central, every person can find people to connect with.

Amanda Richardson and her daughter Mynk Richardson-Clark ’20.

Nancy and Matthew Watkins

Father and mother of Darryl Watkins ’20

“From day one, North Central has been a winning formula for Darryl. He’s making the most of everything the College has to offer, including the Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center, and he’s doing everything he needs to succeed. The College’s culture helps him do that. Neither of us went to college, so Darryl is in the Cardinal First program for first-generation students, and that’s been really helpful. He’s very comfortable here, and when you’re comfortable then other things fit into place. He’s found a home here … and the sky’s the limit.”

Nancy, Darryl ’20 and Matthew Watkins.

David and Maria Alvarez

Father and mother of Victoria Alvarez ’17

"Cardinal First is a program that always puts a smile on Victoria’s face whenever she speaks about it. They helped Victoria overcome barriers she came across throughout her time at North Central, and gave her a chance to exercise her leadership skills. Victoria always felt supported and heard through this program, and it gave her a chance to give back the knowledge she learned from being a leader in Cardinal First. We’re grateful for this supportive program at North Central."

David, Victoria ’17 and Maria Alvarez at graduation.

Brenda Diggs & Merv Falk

Parents of Arika Falk ’19

"Cardinal First really gave our daughter resources and comfort away from home. The director took away our worry that Arika wouldn't have someone looking out for her; Arika knows Julie is always available to help her. Our daughter got to meet so many different people, and we got to see her become a leader on campus through Cardinal First. We always feel like she's safe and is getting opportunities to better herself and her future."

Brenda Diggs, Arika Falk and Merv Falk.

Ariel & Rosalyn Hernandez

Parents of Sheryll Hernandez ’19

"Cardinal First has strengthened our daughter’s belief in the power and importance of earning a degree for a much brighter future. This organization helped Sheryll in having the foresight and determination to succeed through perseverance and hard work. It helped her develop her self-esteem and take pride in being a first- generation college student."

Sheryll Hernandez Family

Chantal Ellerson

Grandparent of Amber Skulavik ’18

"Amber has always excelled throughout her educational career. She has been wise beyond her years with much to offer. Quiet by nature, Cardinal First has given her a voice and a reason to reach out of her comfort zone. Through Cardinal First, Amber has developed the leadership skills to share her thoughts and kindness   and guide and encourage Cardinal First students."

Marci Anton

Parent of Nicole Anton ‘18

"Cardinal First gave Nicole the resources that allowed her to excel in her academics. The program gave Nicole the opportunities to grow as a student and helped shape her future career and endeavors after North Central. I am grateful Nicole found a home at North Central through all she learned in the Cardinal First program."

Maria Sanchez

Parent of Abel ‘14, Miguel ‘17 and Juan Sanchez ‘20

"North Central's programs for first-generation students have been a blessing for us. I didn't go to college, so I couldn't always help. I'm sure my sons’ college experiences have been successful largely because of Cardinal First and Teach First."

maria sanchez

Carissa Macellaio

Parent of Marcello Macellaio ‘20

"Cardinal First prepares young adults to become more aware of the challenges they are about to embark on personally, academically and emotionally. Cardinal First helps encourage these young students to use the awesome resources North Central provides and to put their organization, communication and team-building skills to good use. I'm happy my son is a part of this ever-encouraging family!"

Joe and Lee Lejman

Parents of Connor Lejman ‘19

"Cardinal First has helped our son become more confident, and it has helped get him acclimated to college life. It also provides great networking opportunities for him for the future. Cardinal First is a great program!"

Connor Lejman at graduation

Lisa Semanic

Parent of Tommy Semanic ‘19

"I think Cardinal First has given my son an opportunity to be a leader as he helps first-year students with similar situations to what he once faced."

Tommy Semanic and parents

Leticia Flowers

Parent of Shaina Flowers ‘18

Shaina is the very first in our family to go to college,  She chose North Central because it made her feel welcome. Cardinal First surely helped her find a community and know what she was destined to do.  She enjoys helping people find a way to effectively manage their finances. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Economics and then landed a position shortly after with the mentoring and guidance of this family-oriented college.   Shaina is now working as a Credit Analyst at RR Donnelly.

leticia flowers w/ flowers

Debbie & Guy Whitlock

Parents of Molly Whitlock

When Molly joined the Cardinal First, it helped to guide her through the first year of her college experience by answering questions and anticipating needs that we could not assist with. When Molly went through the program in her first year, she met both student and professor mentors that are also first-generation, received career and economic advice, and guidance about campus life and time management. Cardinal First is a unique and rewarding first-generation program that seeks to prepare and network students for a great four years and beyond. 



Whitlock Family

Why North Central?

Graduating from North Central will open doors to opportunities you didn't realize were possible. This is an investment in your student's future, and we want to partner with you to give you the greatest return.

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