Giving Back: Ignite Peer Mentor Marissa Scavelli

Marissa headshot

Marissa Scavelli is a current UIC junior and one of the mentors in Student Leadership and Civic Engagement’s IGNITE program. IGNITE is a semester-long program for first-and second-year undergraduate students that explores the concepts of leadership and self-reflection. IGNITE students gain insight into the values, communication, and leadership competencies necessary for positive involvement at UIC. A key component of IGNITE are meetings with student mentors, upper-class students who share their experience with IGNITE participants.

“As a first generation college student, it was hard for me to figure out college and to get involved. My first year on campus I was not involved with anything, which made it harder to make friends and find a sense of community at UIC,” Marissa says. She chose to be an IGNITE student mentor this year because she thinks getting involved on campus gives students a sense of community. “Especially as a first year student, college is hard. Therefore a sense of community to fall back on makes a huge impact on students.”

Marissa values service, and she loves being a student mentor because she gets to share her knowledge with other students and help guide them through the beginning of their leadership journey. She says, “I want to give back to students because I never had guidance when I began college. I believe my leadership role can be effective because I am helping the students I work with discover their own passions, goals and values.”

Beyond supporting fellow students through IGNITE, Marissa wants to use her education to be able to give back, and plans to go into the legal field after college. “I am passionate about the law, more specifically how the law can oppress women. I am going into the legal field to protect and be a voice for women.” Being a student mentor with IGNITE is helping her strengthen her leadership skills as she continues her own journey, from college through law school and eventually the legal profession.