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Meet Shailey Park

Meet Shailey Park, a 2023 Illini Dads scholarship recipient. Shailey was one of the 6 other students to be awarded this scholarship out of many qualified applicants. Read on to learn more about Shailey and her experience at the University of Illinois with the Illini Dads.

Major/minor: Human Development and Family Studies; Minor in Political Science and Legal Studies

Year of Graduation: 2023

Fun Fact: I spent 2.5 weeks in Africa on a study abroad trip!

Favorite Campus Spot: Doris Kelly Christopher Hall

Tell Us About Yourself: I am a senior studying HDFS with a double minor in Political Science and Legal studies. After Graduation I will be attending law school to further my education. After Law School I want to work in child and victim advocacy trying to expand opportunities and healing for victims of abuse and violence. I grew up in a small town in south central Illinois called Carlinville where I live with my mom, dad, stepmom and 7 siblings. In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling with my family and playing with my brothers and sisters. I have a cat named Nacho and a Dog named Dixie who both live back home.

What activities are you involved in at the University of Illinois?

-Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority | Alumni Relations Chair

-Order of the Omega

-Neurodiversity Rocks

-Pre-Law Honors Society

-University of Illinois Student Senate Subcommittee on Student Conduct

-University of Illinois Judicial Honors Program

What are you hoping to gain from an education at the University of Illinois?

I chose University of Illinois because I knew that I would walk away with a top tier, well-rounded education. Being a student at the university of Illinois has allowed me to experience opportunities that I am not sure I would have had at another institution. I came to the university hoping to walk away with a world class education and real-world experience in my field. I believe that when I graduate at the end of the semester, I will have accomplished both of those goals.

What has been your favorite experience so far at the University of Illinois?

I have a tie for my favorite experiences. The first was for the spring semester of my junior year I participated in the Illinois in Washington program. Through that program I got to live, work, and learn in the capitol city. I got to work at the U.S House Representative which was invaluable to my experience and my passion for law and policy. Second over winter break this past year I got to spend 2.5 weeks in Africa studying and learning. Both experiences were on my bucket list and I am grateful that the university offers opportunities such as these and that I had the ability to take advantage of them.

What are your plans for the future?

Come Fall of 2023 I will be entering law school as a 1L student. I have not decided which school I will be attending quite yet but I am looking forward to getting my law degree and having the ability to advocate for families and children.

Why did you decide to apply for the Illini Dads scholarship?

I would not be where I am today without agencies and organizations such as the Illini Dad’s Association supporting me financially. It’s not just a scholarship it’s also a physical reminder that someone believes in me and what my goals are.

How did the scholarship benefit you? Were there any specific areas that it helped?

This scholarship helped me with funding for my recent study abroad trip to Africa. The trip was invaluable experience where I got to have first-hand experience working with children from another part of the world. In addition, this scholarship will help me with covering the cost of my regular education costs which I am very grateful for.

If you would like to learn more, click here. Applications for 2022-2023 scholarships are accepted between June 1st and November 21st. The Illini Dads is a nonprofit organization that donates lots of its funds towards banquets, grands, and activities that benefit the students, alumni and parents. They have gifted hundreds of thousands of dollars towards scholarships and grants to help students achieve their goals at the University of Illinois.

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