Eddie Rodriguez spent four years at Oregon State coming out of his shell.
The Coos Bay native wasn’t sure about college. But then his friends began applying to college. A teacher got in touch with the director of Oregon State’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) on Rodriguez’s behalf. He sent in his applications for the program and for admission to Oregon State just before the deadline.
CAMP helps bring students to Oregon State and provides resources to succeed once they’re here. Rodriguez says the program taught him how to navigate college, apply for scholarships and be professional.
He also credits his CAMP experience with landing a job as a tour ambassador for the Office of Admissions, guiding prospective students and their families around campus.
“That’s really helped with my communications skills and brought me out of my shell,” he says. “I get to talk to people from all over the state and all over the world. Sometimes I even get to lead tours in Spanish, which is really fun.”
Rodriguez is earning a degree in history. He has a specific interest in social movements — civil rights, women’s rights and Chicano issues.
“I love to learn about mobilizing people for a positive change,” he says.
He’s already applying those lessons. Through a PROMISE internship, Rodriguez worked on the University Innovation Alliance team to improve the academic advising process, retention and graduation rates, especially for first-generation college students.
Most recently, Rodriguez returned to Oregon after studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain.
“Studying abroad was a big leap out of my comfort zone, and it was really eye opening,” he says. “But I encourage students to take advantage of every opportunity they have here. You don’t want to sit around thinking ‘what if’ at the end of the day.”