New student Tariq Thomas: ‘My upbringing inspired me to pursue a field for helping others’
Hometown: Rochelle, Illinois
Major/Program: MSW/ Jane Addams College of Social Work
Graduation Year: 2023
What is one thing you want people to know about you?
I’m working to become a better version of me.
What degree are you pursuing and what inspired you to choose this path?
Is there a personal experience that comes to mind?
I am pursuing my master’s degree in social work. My upbringing inspired me to pursue a field for helping others. My natural instinct is to put others first. Growing up, my friends always told me I should be a counselor because I was essentially the unlicensed neighborhood therapist.
Why did you choose UIC?
An alumni informed me of the Jane Addams program, and after looking into myself, it seemed like a good fit for me.
Are there specific experiences and/or learning opportunities you are looking forward to having as a
Seeing the city at night, hopefully being able to be in person for classes, making lifetime connections, becoming a better writer and professional speaker.
Looking in the future, what do you want to see for yourself, your community, the world?
For myself: financial stability, children, peace of mind, constant evolving. For the community: welcoming, adapting, diverse. For the world: unity, peace, fairness, acceptance, one that comes together.
What Chicago places/activities/neighborhoods are you looking forward to exploring?
Anywhere with food.
How do you like your pizza: deep dish or thin? What toppings?
Thin. Just plain ol’ cheese.
What was your favorite subject in middle school?
Who or what inspires you?
Not wanting my past to be my future, the feeling of complacency, doubt, seeing/hearing of other’s
success and failures, my own failures.