“OMD will change your life in ways that you cannot imagine.”
Edgar was initially drawn to OMD for the promise of financial supports – he was struggling to pay for his education, not to mention adapting to a new culture. However, Edgar soon realized that the program had so much more to offer than a stipend: “the support and community from OMD staff and other members was what made me stay.”
He credits many eye-opening experiences to OMD, such as volunteering over the alternative spring break: “One of the most valuable moments that I had with OMD was when we cooked for homeless people and got to hear their stories. This experience changed my perception about life and made me realize all the work that needs to be done to better our world.” Another such experience was meeting the mayor: “Now, I have the confidence to talk and interact with anyone.”
After graduating in 2015 with his Associate’s Degree from Harry S. Truman College, Edgar transferred to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he is now a rising senior studying mechanical engineering with a minor in material science engineering. He eventually plans to obtain a Master's in material science and start his own company to promote sustainable manufacturing processes.