Skip to main content
Stephanie Carreno
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Stephanie Carreno

Graduation year: 2023

High school: Harry D. Jacobs High School

Hometown: Carpentersville, Ill.

Major: History

Activities: PACE Program, Latinx Unidos, Presidential Inauguration Committee, UNYK Multicultural Dance Troupe, Sloughfest Committee

Internship: Mercado on Fifth, a non-profit in Moline, Ill.

Post-grad plans: I was recently accepted to the University of Illinois' iSchool of Information Sciences to pursue a master's in library information science!

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because I was surrounded by many teachers, staff and administrators who were Augustana alumni at Jacobs High School. Every single one of them highly expressed their love for Augustana and the many activities they participated in made me curious!

My history teacher Brian Taegae talked a lot about his study abroad experience in Europe, which I one day hoped I would be able to accomplish.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?

Not at all! I remember being very scared and nervous about what the future would have in store for me. As a first-generation student, I really had no expectations because I was never told to prepare for anything. I learned so much in these past four years about myself. I'm extremely proud of the woman I have become, and I am even more excited to see what else I am capable of!

Who helped you get to where you are now?

First would be my parents. I will forever be grateful for their investment in my education. My future is dedicated to you — gracias mami y papi por todo!

The Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity. Ashley, Daisy and Letty — thank you for everything. Your dedication and drive have led me to be the person I am today. I couldn't have done it without you three.

Mike Scarlett, Anne Earel, Keri Bass and Jessica Estes — my career exploration was eventful, but thank you for taking my hand and guiding me.

Micaela Terronez, thank you for re-igniting my passion for history and archives. Your positive energy and mentorship has inspired me to be kinder to myself and the world around me. I'm going to miss you incredibly.

The friends I've made along the way — thank you for all the laughs. To my roommates Andrew and Claudia, I'm so lucky to have you in my life.

And of course, I cannot forget my cousin Alex. Thanks for driving me to the Scholarship Competition during a snowstorm.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was serving as the president of Latinx Unidos during the 2021-2022 school year. It challenged me in many ways but was so incredibly rewarding in the end.

It was truly an honor being able to represent the Latinx student body on and off campus. I was able to build so many connections between Augustana and the Quad-Cities community. Plus, it led me to intern for Mercado on Fifth this past summer.

I also enjoyed being a PACE Program mentor for three years!

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how quickly I was able to make friends and build relationships with faculty and staff. That's one of the many special things Augustana has to offer. You are more than just a name or face. I always felt like I had a sense of belonging.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to fund a J-term study abroad trip to Amsterdam this past January.

What will you miss the most?

Oddly enough, I am going to miss hearing the music coming from the Old Main dome every hour. I'm also going to miss my friends. They have been my rock for the past four years (and the fact that we have always lived three minutes away from each other).

Advice for the Class of 2027?

This advice has followed me throughout my life so I'll pass it along: échale ganas. Or, give it your all. There will be times that you want to give up, but it is your strength and perseverance that got you here in the first place. You are the rose that grew from concrete. Good luck, Class of 2027!

"Among her many skills, Stephanie excels with engagement and outreach to the campus and wider community. For the Special Collections department in the library, Stephanie is the primary writer for our social media outreach due to her excellent writing skills, natural creativity and dedication to highlighting some of the most hidden parts and stories of the library’s collections. I will miss Stephanie and her contributions, but I am also very much looking forward to seeing where her academic and professional skills take her."

– Micaela Terronez, Special Collections librarian and instructor, Tredway Library