“It started when I was in 8th grade. I was cut from the volleyball team. I didn't make my first club team either, twice. I was just beaten down time and time again. The day after I didn't make my club team, I was absolutely determined to become a great volleyball player. I worked every single day to get better.

“I never thought I was good enough to play in college. But when I finally realized I was could do it, I decided to go to Concordia-Chicago. It's a good lesson that the struggle is a blessing, not a curse. Having that edge and being driven—it's going to take you somewhere in life, no matter what. You can't be told no.

“I love what I've learned in the academic area, too. I think that the professors here are phenomenal. I'm really thankful that I went to Concordia-Chicago. The person I was when I walked in to CUC is not the same person walking out. I'm a better version of myself. I'm excited to just see how this university has shaped the future for me.”

Isabelle Vernengo '24
Elementary education major