Alexander Villegas just started his sophomore year at Beloit College, and he is already becoming a master at managing his time. “It’s been very busy, but enjoyably so,” he says of his campus life experience.
In addition to double majoring in international relations and history, he is very active on campus. He is a member of the cross country and track teams, a student representative for Beloit Student Congress, and the executive director of the student government’s Clubs and Organization Oversight committee. He holds the presidency of the Model United Nations club on campus and is a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
The Lake Geneva native, who is a first-generation college student, said attending college was always among his goals, though he went through several phases of wanting to take a gap year or enlist in military service before deciding to apply to colleges. “I’m not like my brothers,” he says. “I can’t work with my hands or technology on a professional level, so the only way for me to get better at my skills was to go to college,” he says. He is preparing himself – both academically and personally – to fulfill his lifelong commitment to serving his community.
“I’ve always known I wanted to serve,” he says. Alexander says his aspirations upon graduation range from working for the state of Wisconsin to going to law school, but either way, he wants to continue to have a positive impact on his community. Later this semester, he will begin an internship with the Peace Corps.
Alexander, who first discovered Beloit College through the book The Gatekeepers, was initially concerned about the small size of the school, however, as a result of his actual experience on the Beloit campus, he has long since changed his mind.
“I really enjoy it, because I know people more than I thought I would, if not by name then by face,” he says. “With my professors, I’ve had wonderful opportunities already because they know me and it’s a class of 20 students, not 100.”
A smaller environment also allowed Alexander to become more introspective and, at the same time, light-hearted. Alexander said that his confidence has improved, which he says has had a “domino effect” on everything else in his life. The once very serious personality softened to reveal a more fun and outgoing person.
“It’s taught me that you can balance work and play,” he says.
Through the help of the Wisconsin Grant funding, Alexander has been relieved of the stress that a large financial burden can cause and is empowered to serve his community in fulfilling ways.