Alumni Profiles


Nicola Covello graduated with a B.A. in Social Work in spring 2016. She is currently attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Social Work in New York.

As an undergraduate, Nicola was inducted into the Alpha Kappa Delta National Honor Society for Sociology, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.7 GPA. Covello attributes her academic success to her professors and a great group of friends that she met on campus, who supported one another and each other’s goals.

“I am passionate about the rights of humans and giving them a voice when no one else can. I am currently studying Social Work to have a career in Adoption Services because I am adopted myself and my adopted mother did not have a good experience in the foster care system when she was a child. I want to be able to make a difference in the world no matter how small it is.”

“CUC prepared me wonderfully for grad school at Columbia University. My professors were the most helpful in setting me up for excellence. They expected amazing work and taught us to think for ourselves … CUC attracts amazing people who have strong values and carry them out in their everyday lives.”


Originally from Chicago, Yomara graduated from CUC in 2014 with a B.A. in Social Work. While a CUC student, Yomara was involved with the Latino Student Union.

Yomara interned with Metropolitan Family Services in Chicago, and was hired on full-time after graduation. She is currently the Out-Of-School Time Coordinator for Metropolitan Family Services. In this role, she is responsible for planning and making recommendations for the implementation of high quality programs that provide diverse learning opportunities. In addition, Lazaro develops the Out-Of-School staff training and manages the advisory committee.

Yomara credits the Social Work Department with preparing her to be an ethical social worker with the tools needed to be an efficient team member.

Future plans for Lazaro include continuing to bring change and quality services to communities in need, and graduate studies in 2017.

“The Social Work Department provided me with the empowerment needed to promote and continue to practice social change. It starts with us. When providing our services, we give those who are vulnerable the tools to succeed.” 


Marisela Venegas graduated with a B.A. in Social Work in 2015. While at CUC, Marisela was a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the National Honors Society for Sociology.

Currently, Marisela is a Prevention Specialist for Youth Outreach Services. She provides primary prevention services to youth, parents, guardians, and community leaders. Venegas especially enjoys supporting youth with opportunities and recognition.

Prior to her current position, Venegas interned with Youth Outreach Services as a drug and alcohol treatment counselor, as part of her CUC Social Work field experience requirements.