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Meet the MISTERs

In Fall 2018, UIC welcomed its first cohort of MISTERs, who are all enrolled in the College's BA Urban Elementary Education program. Each year, the College introduces a new cohort of MISTERs, who engage in community-building and academic support activities as a group. Learn more about our current MISTERs:

Meet the MiSTERS Heading link

Gaius Anighoro

Hello, my name is Gaius Anighoro and I am a junior from Joliet, Illinois. I am studying Urban Education with a middle school endorsement for Social Science.I am the second oldest of five siblings in my family. I am one of three siblings to go to UIC. In my free time I hang out with my friends or play basketball at the rec center or in different leagues. Personally, it is important I become a teacher because when I think back to my educational career I rarely had teachers of color who understood my background or the way I thought. I think it’s important that black students see people who look like them, so they can understand that they can do anything they put their mind to.

Gaius Anighoro  |  MiSTER
Alejandro Basurto

My name is Alejandro Basurto, and I am from California. Shortly after I was born, we moved to Chicago, Illinois where I have lived since then. I am a freshman at UIC majoring in Urban Education and planning to earn a middle grades English endorsement. I am the first generation to attend college. During my free time, I enjoy playing video games or journaling my feelings. One of the reasons I decided to become a teacher is to provide an experience for students that is different from a tough experience I had in first grade. My teacher was often visibly frustrated with me as an English language learner and did not make learning easy. When I saw the opportunity through this initiative, I was really happy about the chance to make a difference and applied for it.

Alejandro Basurto  |  MiSTER
Jaylen Carter

Hello, I am Jaylen Carter. I am from The west side of Chicago, I am a freshman at UIC and I am majoring in Urban Education with the dream of becoming a teacher. I am a first generation college student and am the middle child. My main hobbies are sports, games and music. In high school I had a GPA of 3.75, and I heard about Call Me MiSTER towards the end of high school. I applied for it and was accepted! I’m grateful for the opportunity, and now I’m ready to work towards my teaching career.

Jaylen Carter  |  MiSTER
Emonte Conway

Hello! My name is Emonte Conway and I am originally from the southside of Chicago. Currently, I am a second year student at UIC and am studying Urban Education with hopes of earning a special education endorsement. When I was in high school I was lucky enough to have a mentor who inspired me to be a teacher and acted as a guide for my education career. In the short time we had together. I was invited to be the Vice President of what was known as “Brother2Brother ” which is a mentorship program that aimed to shape boys (specifically of color) into becoming men and the steps in doing so. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games and working out in the gym. I thank everyone who contributed to making me the man I am today, and I’m hoping to add myself into the creation of a wonderful community!

Emonte Conway  |  MiSTER
Edvin Rios Corado

Hello, my name is Edvin Rios. I was born in Guatemala, and I migrated to Chicago as a child. I am the oldest of four siblings and a first-generation college student. I’m a devoted father of two amazing children, a smart young teenager and our precious newborn, whom my wife and I joyfully welcomed this past September. My academic journey began at Parkland College in Champaign IL, where I earned my GED and an AS in General Studies. Currently, I’m enrolled in the Urban Education program at UIC and hope to inspire and educate middle school students. Originally, I enrolled in an engineering program at my former institution. However, after reevaluating my path it led me to discover my true calling. I realized that our education system is in need of more underrepresented men who could serve as mentors that can inspire the next generation of students. I envision myself teaching in underserved communities, like the one I grew up in. I’ve noticed the disconnect between students and their educators, in these underserved communities. As a high school dropout, I am determined to bridge that gap and offer my experiences and guidance that can help empower the next generation of students in achieving their dreams. Alongside the Call Me MiSTER program, I believe I can empower the youth and make a lasting impact

Edvin Rios Corado  |  MiSTER
James Dillard

Hey, I’m James Dillard. I’m from the south side of Chicago. I’m a second year student at UIC studying Urban education. I’m very into sports and music. I am the oldest of three siblings, and my two sisters were part of the reason I chose to apply for initiative. Since I believe about 6th grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Although I’ve always been smart, after high school I didn’t know how I would reach my dream. I heard about Call Me MiSTER from a School Counselor and applied.

James Dillard  |  MiSTER
Juan Escobedo

Hello! My name is Juan Escobedo and I was born in Chicago, IL but I was raised in a suburb of Chicago called Cicero. I am currently a senior in the Urban Elementary Education program at UIC and plan to get my Early Childhood Education and ESL endorsements in the program. I am the third child out of six. My two older sisters are UIC alumni, so I am keeping the streak going. However, in my free time, I enjoy being active, I love listening to music, and love doing any type of self-care activities to ease my mind and body. Apart from being part of this initiative, I am also a Golden Apple Scholar where we get to learn to be future educators with excellence. Not only has this initiative helped me in so many different ways throughout my college career, but it has made me realize that being an educator, especially a male of color in the field, is truly special. Words cannot describe how glad I am to be part of this program, alongside my brothers to be able to inspire our future students.

Juan Escobedo  |  MiSTER
Irving Espinosa

Hello my name is Irving Espinosa and I was born in Mexico DF. I was raised in Chicago, Illinois since I was one year old. I am currently a senior doing my pre-teaching, and next semester I will be doing my student teaching. I am focusing on Early childhood education, as well as grades 1-6. I am the oldest as I have three smaller brothers. I am a big movie geek, so I like to go to the movies a lot. I like to read comic books and graphic novels, sometimes I like to go to comic book shops. I joined the Mister initiative because I do not receive financial aid, and all my semesters have been either being paid out of pocket or smaller scholarships. I did not know I was going to still be in college this semester. Luckily my advisor informed me about Call Me MiSTER and they have helped me keep with the program into becoming an educator. Helping my parents raise my brothers while they work, and teaching Sunday school, I developed patience and love for the children as they are the future.

Irving Espinosa  |  MiSTER
Hector Leon Flores

Hello, my name is Hector Flores and I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I am currently a freshman, I am studying Urban Education at UIC. I am the middle child of my family and have two older sisters and a younger brother. I like to play volleyball and love to go to concerts! I joined the MiSTER initiative because it was a way for me to engage with students learning. When I was a Junior in high school I wanted to know how I could impact children’s lives with education and the Call Me Mister initiative has made that opportunity come true.

Hector Leon Flores  |  MiSTER
Jason Guinansaca

Greetings, My name is Jason Guinansaca and I grew up on the North West side of Chicago in the Hermosa area. I’m in my senior year of college and I’m in the Urban Education program. During my free time, I like to work out or simply just stay home. I am the youngest in my family and this May my mom will have all her children be college graduates. I heard about Call Me MISTER my freshman year of college but I never applied. Most of the Misters have been my colleagues and It just felt natural to finally apply since I already had a relationship with one another. I decided to become a teacher and pursue a career in Education to simply contribute to society. I was grateful to have well-rounded teachers throughout my academic career. I realized how impactful it was to have positive and caring adult figures so I’m hoping I can provide that for my future students.

Jason Guinansaca  |  MiSTER
Jack Juarez

Hello! My name is Jack Juarez, and I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. I’m currently a sophomore in the Urban Education program at UIC, with the hopes of earning a Early Childhood education endorsement (and possibly another one.) I enjoy several activities, from jogging to playing video games. However, I’m always open to trying something new. I’m the third child out of four. I also live with my dad who has made me the man I am today in addition to our two cats who I love very much. I joined the MiSTER Initiative not only because for the funding it provides and also to help broaden my experience.

Jack Juarez  |  MiSTER
Joseph Rey

My name is Joseph Rey and I am from the south side of Chicago, IL. I am a senior in the Urban Education program at UIC and plan to get a middle grades social studies endorsement. I am the youngest out of two children, my only sibling is my older brother. I am an Uncle to three nieces and I have a close knit relationship with my mother, who has also been a teacher in Chicago Public Schools for 21 years. In my free time, I enjoy playing chess, dominating in basketball, creating music, and spending quality time with the ones I love. I applied to be a part of the initiative because I want to make a positive impact on the youth in my city and show them the importance of becoming lifelong learners. Education has always been a vital component in my upbringing and I would like to instill these same values to the next generation that will be leading charge after me. I am thankful to be a part of this initiative because it provided me with unimaginable opportunities and meaningful relationships.

Joseph Rey  |  MiSTER
Jimmy Rodgers

Jimmy Rodgers.

Jimmy Rodgers  |  MiSTER
Trevon Turner

My name is Trevon Turner. I am currently a senior at UIC in the Urban Education program and the Call Me MiSTER initiative at UIC which aims to get more black and brown males to become teachers. I am the second oldest child in my family. Something that I like to do in my spare time is go to the gym and workout. One of my future goals will be to reach out to more youth and get them to like math and connect with them to find out ways that I could get them to understand topics that they find difficult.

Trevon Turner  |  MiSTER