US Senator Dick Durbin Meets with WITS Students and Mentors

Kristen StrobbePartnerships, Programs, Volunteers

The WITS and BP Workplace Mentoring program received a special visitor on November 26th leading into the Thanksgiving holiday – Senator Dick Durbin. The visit highlighted the 8-year partnership of BP and WITS and gave students an opportunity to get to know the Senator and his work. During the first few minutes of program, WITS students from Holden Elementary met with their BP mentors and brainstormed important questions to ask Senator Durbin, like – “What does a senator do?” “What is your favorite part of being senator” (answer: helping people) “Who encouraged you to become a Senator?” and the classic “What’s your favorite color?” (answer: blue).

Senator Dick Durbin addressing students and mentors at BP.

Senator Durbin told the students and mentors in the room about the Dream Act, a bill he sponsored to help undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as minors gain legal residency status and eventually citizenship. The bill evolved into a broader immigration policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order declared by President Obama in 2012. Students loved hearing about Senator Durbin’s incredible work as a US Senator, especially how the Dream Act was inspired by an undocumented student living in Chicago.

Also during his visit, Senator Durbin chatted with students and mentors about WITS as they read books from the library or worked on homework. Students were eager to share what they love about WITS and what they’re currently reading.