Elijah Mercado is a junior from Hobart, Indiana, studying biological sciences.
Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because it was a college that I fell in love with from the moment I stepped on campus. I felt like this college was made for me. The atmosphere and the people here just reminded me of home. I was sure that I would be able to get an outstanding education as well as a diving career.
What would you tell a prospective student about SIU?
SIU is a great place to get an education as well as have an amazing college experience. The amount of help offered will keep you on top of your grades, the activities and events that SIU hosts can really bring in the whole community. Salukis love to tag along others, nobody gets left behind when it comes to being with the Dawgs.
What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I chose to be in a medical program in high school. I did an internship at St. Mary’s Hospital and had the opportunity to shadow a doctor and nurses. I plan on going into pediatrics.
What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
My most memorable experience at SIU is attending a volleyball game with the swim/dive team. It was our Saluki Strip game, so we all wore our swimsuits and Speedos to distract the other team. It was a hilarious and unforgettable moment.
How has SIU inspired you?
When I read in the Daily Egyptian about an NFL player who attended SIU (Bart Scott) finishing his education, that really gave me inspiration. It gave me a reminder that if he could finish his college education after leaving to play in the NFL, then I could finish my education as well with no problem.
Why should someone consider donating to SIU?
SIU is a school that gives the best of their ability to opportunities that are given to them. Everyone who contributes and helps out will be greatly acknowledged and will always have a warm welcome here. We do our best to help others, we encourage others to pass the kindness on, and we try to make not just our school or the city better, but the world as a whole.
What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I brag about how welcoming our school is for everything. We all care about each other even when we do not know everybody. If you are a Saluki, you are family. If you are not a Saluki, we will show you why being a Saluki is one of the best feelings in the world.
If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit?
If I had $1,000 to donate to SIU, I would like to see that money benefit a program to help those in need. If we had something that can help kids as well as parents who are struggling with school supplies or food, it would be awesome to have an event for them. It would be awesome to have a “Back to School” rally, or a “Toys for Tots” event. Giving to families and kids who could use a bit of help and encouragement in life.
You can support SIU students during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 7, 2018: https://siuday.siu.edu/