Alumni Spotlight

Any updates? New job? Recently married? Finished an internship? We would love to hear about what you have been up to recently. Send an update and photos to Angela Escobar at angela@dmsf.org!

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Brothers Guillermo Estrada and Arturo Reyes have been donating monthly to DMSF’s Full Circle Society since 2015. It is thanks to their passion and commitment to continue supporting Chicago youth that our organization is able to thrive.

“DMSF opened the door to a life I didn’t know existed and enabled me to walk through that door. It’s more than a scholarship, it’s a family that I still keep in touch with 20 years after receiving one of the most important letters in my life. I’m extremely grateful to the Murphy family and all of the benefactors but I believe it’s my responsibility as an alumnus to pay it forward and give the next generation of scholars the same opportunity I was given.”

 

Guillermo Estrada| Murphy Class of 2001

Guillermo Estrada graduated from DeLaSalle High School as a DMSF Scholar in 2001 and then went on to attend Northern Illinois University as an Evans Scholar where he graduated with a B.S in Mathematics in 2005. He completed his M.B.A at DePaul University in 2010. Guillermo is currently a Business Alliance Manager at OnX Enterprise Solutions and will soon be transitioning into their Solutions Architect position. Pictured above is Guillermo at his wedding with his DMSF Mentor, Bob Murphy, and his wife Linda Murphy.

“The biggest gift we can give to the scholars is the opportunity to go see the world. The world is so much bigger than 27th and 26th street in Little Village where I grew up. The Daniel Murphy Scholarship helps you use all the disadvantages that you have growing up in the underserved communities of Chicago and use them as fuel to climb to the mountain top. Once you get to the top, everything feels a little easier. This scholarship saved my life. Now I need to pay it forward.”

Arturo Reyes| Murphy Class of 2004

Arturo Reyes graduated from DeLaSalle High School as a DMSF Scholar in 2004. From there, he got his M.A.S in Accounting from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2009. Arturo moved to California 6 years ago where he is working as the Director of Production Finance at Starz Entertainment. Here he has helped produce many shows including Black Sails and American Gods. His favorite part of working for Starz is their commitment to diversity and hopes to continue helping production companies become more inclusive of people from underrepresented communities.

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Lukasz Bokun| Murphy Class of 2007

Luke Bokun graduated from Marist High School as a DMSF Scholar in 2007. He went on to graduate from the University of Chicago in 2011 with a double-major in Economics and Public Policy. Since then, he has been working in the investment banking industry.

In 2016, Luke was awarded an Officer Commission in the U.S. Air Force and in August 2017 he earned his Wings to become a U.S. Air Force Pilot. After additional training, he plans to return to Chicago in late 2018 to fly C-130s for the Illinois Air National Guard while also further developing his finance career.

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Odalo Ohiku | Murphy Class of 1995

Odalo Ohiku‘s law office in Milwaukee hosted their 2nd annual “Backpack to School” event. The event included games, music, and activities to energize elementary school students and families about going back to school. Odalo’s event was geared towards low-income families and the office donated 300 backpacks with school supplies to elementary school students in need.

Read the full story here!


Jessica Ayala | Murphy Class of 2013

Jessica Ayala, Murphy Class of 2013, attended Loyola Academy as a Murphy Scholar and caddied at LaGrange Country Club. She recently graduated from Marquette University where she studied Advertising and Psychology. This summer, the DMSF Caddie Program welcomed her back as a summer counselor. Jessica plans to pursue a career in the ad and marketing industries and is considering returning to graduate school for a Master’s in Business Administration and Social Policy.

During her time at Marquette University, Jessica co-founded and co-directed an organization called Camp Kesem, “a nationwide, non-profit steered by passionate college students, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer.” The organization is coordinated and executed by student leaders at over 80 universities across the country. From fundraising to planning programs for the camp, the college directors work to create a safe environment where children can find a supportive community and an escape from the difficult time of having a parent struggle with cancer.

We spoke to Jessica to learn more about her experiences working at Camp Kesem and the lessons she learned. She emphasized the importance of building an empowering, resilient, and supportive community:

“I learned that one can transform a dark situation into one that fuels and illuminates you. We were able to make something beautiful out of our pain. Camp Kesem made me realize the importance of fostering community because with that, we get to grow in ways we couldn’t imagine otherwise.”

With her experiences in mind, Jessica offers a word of advice to Murphy Scholars and Alumni:

“I once saw a quote that read, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” These words ring true to me because I’ve always been a person that aims to make strides each day, even if it means starting from zero. Making opportunities for myself, building my network, taking on big roles, and being open to challenges is what has made me successful, and I’m excited to see the younger ones in my family set high standards for themselves too. In short, never be afraid to go above and beyond for yourself.”

We hope you’ll take the time to read Jessica’s story here! In addition, you can find more details about Camp Kesem on their website.


Diamond Greer | Murphy Class of 2010

Murphy Alumna, Diamond Greer (Class of 2010), gave a powerful TED Talk addressing the issue of silencing individuals in the workplace and offering an approach to give people voice and create a more inclusive workplace. Check out her speech here!


Pedro Pedroza | Murphy Class of 2003

Murphy Alum – Pedro Pedroza – shared his immigrant story as part of the One Chicago campaign. Pedro’s family moved from Mexico to Chicago when he was 4 years old, and he went to St. Ignatius College Prep as a Murphy Scholar before attending Cornell University. He is now working as the Special Projects Associate to senior staff in the Chicago mayor’s office. You can hear his story here (and even see him on ads around Chicago)!

One Chicago is a campaign that will facilitate access to resources and support for Chicago’s residents, including its immigrant and refugee communities, and seek to unify all Chicagoans as one city and one voice. You can learn more about One Chicago, how to get involved, and hear stories of other fellow Chicagoans at onechi.org.


Please welcome the Class of 2017 to the Murphy Alumni Network!

78 graduating seniors are now Murphy Alumni! Last week, we celebrated all of their successes at the 2017 Senior Celebration. We would also like to thank the Murphy Alumni that came back to talk to the graduating senior class about their college experiences and share their advice. It was great to see older Murphy Alumni supporting the newest group of alums!