When ETI Construction is not actively working on projects, we aim to give back to the community. One way we contribute to society is by working with youth and attending various school assemblies. We were able to work with the Youth Connection Charter Schools (YCCS) and Antonia Pantoja High School (APHS), a member of ASPIRA of Illinois.
APHS and ETI
APHS works with YouthBuild programs, an organization that provides job and skill training, leadership development, and education. YouthBuild has a focus on construction and related skills, making schools such as APHS an ideal stop for a school assembly with guests from a local construction and development company.
Ivan Tello of ETI Construction visited APHS on October 5 to discuss who ETI Construction is, the type of work the company does, his own life and educational journey, the company’s contribution to society, and his role as a business leader.
During the school assembly, Ivan shared the story about ETI Construction and his own personal journey. School visits are a way to help the community and encourage students to explore their potential, despite any barriers. Ivan shared with students that he was an undocumented immigrant, leading to various challenges and barriers to overcome in regard to education. Documentation status, economic hardships, housing and family concerns, and health concerns are all common barriers students face. School assemblies offer a chance for students to connect with members of the community who are proof that you can overcome obstacles. The assemblies also offer a chance for individuals like Ivan to give back to the community by sharing their stories.
Ivan encouraged students to find ways to overcome barriers, noting that community college can be a smart step in higher education. Ivan began his higher education at a community college before transferring to Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) to complete a bachelor’s degree. Ivan did not give up on his passions, something he shared with the students at APHS. Now, his contributions to society include presiding over $30 million in residential and commercial projects with ETI Construction. That’s over hundreds of different projects, ranging from smaller $1,000 projects to $100,000 projects, and some worth a million dollars.
The school assembly gave Ivan a chance to help the community by encouraging the students and serving as a role model – even a peer mentor. ASPIRA schools want their students to succeed. The ability to connect with students and for students to see Ivan as someone who understands them is one of the keys to unlocking the students’ potential. When students heard Ivan’s story, they remained engaged and attentive. Ivan hopes his journey inspires them to push themselves, not only in their career but also as human beings.
It’s clear that Ivan’s visit to the school assembly is already helping the community, as one student approached him afterwards and asked “how can you help me find my passion?” Seeing students thinking about their passions and their future shows just how Ivan and ETI Construction are giving back to the community.
Ivan’s personal struggles and history, combined with his sixteen years of experience in the construction field, and role with ETI Construction, make his visits to school assemblies a benefit for the schools, the community, and ETI.