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Student Pathway 1

Associate's to Year Up Workforce Preparation to Bachelor's program

AA, Year Up Workforce Preparation, BA

Portrait of Joshua Adams

Joshua Adams’ (AA ’17) spot in the inaugural class of Arrupe College almost didn’t happen. He was certain he was destined for the military.

“My dad died before I got to know him,” he says. “I wanted to be close to him so my entire life I planned to be in the navy like him.”

But right before he was going to apply, college coordinators from Arrupe visited his high school, Gary Comer College Prep, and talked about what the college had to offer. Intrigued, he found himself putting the military plans on hold for the time being.

“Arrupe just seemed to be the perfect fit out of nowhere.”

“I was surrounded by a bunch of people that I considered family that didn’t want me to give up.”


Adams didn’t waste a second getting involved once on campus. He worked for campus safety, as an Information Assistant, and volunteered “for everything.”

He also formed a personal connection with then-college dean, Fr. Steve Kasouras, who would often see him studying late in the library.

“We bonded over work, my passion for helping out on campus and my love for Loyola,” he says. “Fr. K gave me a shot and I gave this program a shot.”

That connection was just one of many that Adams developed with Arrupe faculty and staff who formed his support system throughout his two years in the college.

“I was surrounded by a bunch of people that I considered family that didn’t want me to give up. I had all the help in the world to keep going.” 

He also found love, too, on campus and is now engaged to Daisha O'Banner (AA '18).



His time post-Arrupe has been productive and fulfilling. Still considering the military, his Arrupe career college coordinator put forth an opportunity. 

“She said, ‘Before you jump to any conclusions, there’s this program called Year Up that helps close the opportunity gap for students of minority and disprivileged backgrounds,’” says Adams.

He kept an open mind and applied for the program that partners with more than 250 Fortune 500 companies to provide on-site internships. He was placed at Relativity, a software company, and was quickly hired full-timeserving as the first line of defense for any IT issues in the company for over two years. He was also charged with teaching the incoming interns, a role he embraced.



Currently completing an apprenticeship as a Salesforce Administrator for Bitwise Workforce Training, he’s also a full-time student getting his bachelor’s degree in education at Chicago State University. When he thinks back on Arrupe highlights, he finds there’s more than he can mention. 

“It’s hard to say what was the best thing that came out of Arrupe,” he says. “There were so many things.”