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Meet the 2023 CME Group Foundation Scholars

Nine UIC Business students have been awarded the prestigious Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Foundation Scholars Program scholarship. This high-value scholarship supports the education of historically underserved groups who are majoring in finance, information technology, computer science, or applied mathematics. Each recipient will have the opportunity to attend a one-day market education program at CME Group in Chicago in August 2024.

A total of 28 UIC Business students have been awarded renewable CME scholarships in the last four years. The award potential is $60,000 over three years, bringing the total scholarship award potential to $1.62 million for 28 students.

Continue reading to learn more about this year’s winners.

Brianna Negron, ‘25

Brianna Negron, ‘25

  • Major in Information and Decision Sciences (Concentration: Business Analytics)
  • Minors in Finance and Professional Writing
  • 3.93 GPA
  • UIC Business Scholar, Member of the Honors College, Executive Assistant for the United Women’s Network (UWN), Member of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), Member of the Collegiate Association of Business Scholars (CABS)

After graduation, Brianna looks forward to working as a data analyst in the medical field. She is interested in performing diagnostic and predictive data analysis, as well as fulfilling her goal of implementing more effective health treatments for patients.

When sharing what winning the CME Group Foundation Scholarship means to her, Brianna stated, “Being a 2023 CME Group Foundation Scholar means that all my hard work has truly paid off. Winning this award has relieved financial burdens and allowed me to focus on my studies even more. In addition, this award has provided me with so many opportunities for my future career and with my college experiences. I have time to be more involved with student organizations on campus, where I have made so many new friends, built professional connections, and gained advice and insights on how to better my future.

I am extremely grateful for CME and UIC Business for giving me the opportunity to grow and encouraging me to pursue more.”

Mike Gonzalez, ‘25

Mike Gonzalez, ‘25

  • Finance major
  • Business Analytics minor
  • 3.89 GPA
  • Vice President, Jr. Director of Community Engage of ALPFA, Marketing Committee Member of CABS, LARES Leader

For Mike, being a CME Group Foundation Scholar is synonymous with being a better leader and graduating from UIC debt free. Once he receives his degree in 2025, he plans to work in commercial banking or asset wealth management. Currently, Mike is focused on helping students find jobs and other opportunities by way of his role as vice president of ALPFA at UIC.

Nube Aguilar, ‘25

Nube Aguilar, ‘25

  • Finance and Real Estate major
  • International Business minor
  • 3.83 GPA
  • Director of Corporate Relations for ALPFA at UIC, UIC Business Scholar, Cohort Captain, Member of the Honors College

Nube has big plans for the remainder of her time at UIC. She desires to gain experience by working with The Resurrection Project, a non-profit organization that manages affordable housing projects in Pilsen. During the summer of 2024, she will intern with the Wells Fargo Corporate Properties team in Charlotte, North Carolina. She will receive hands-on experience with Wells Fargo’s real estate portfolio, including real estate strategy, capacity planning, transactions, construction, and property management.

In the future, Nube wants to own or manage a real estate development company to develop affordable housing for underserved communities in Chicago. This is in addition to being involved in affordable housing initiatives in developing countries either through an international REIT or an international organization that emphasizes economic development.

When asked what being a CME Group Foundation Scholar means to her, Nube shared that, “I have an immense weight lifted off my shoulders. This scholarship is a recognition of all the hard work we put into ourselves and receiving it reinforces the power that I have over myself and my future which, if I set my mind to any goals, can mean endless opportunities.”

Daniel Martinez, ‘25

Daniel Martinez, ‘25

  • Finance major
  • Leadership minor
  • 3.75 GPA
  • LARES Leader, Member of the Flames Consulting Group (FCG), Peer Success Coach for the Academic Center for Excellence, Former Junior Board of Corporate Relations Member for ALPFA

Daniel will study abroad in Tokyo, Japan during the spring 2024 semester and will continue his studies in Sydney, Australia during the fall of 2024. After graduation, his career goal is to work as a strategic consultant for a large firm.

Daniel gave his sentiments toward being a CME Scholar: “To me, becoming a CME Group Foundation Scholar is acknowledgment of my ability to perform well in academics and extracurriculars while contributing to the growth of my college community.

Winning this award enables me to continue my education on campus and abroad. I’m grateful for the CME Group. Now that I am tuition free, my goal is to help other applicants in succeeding at winning this scholarship.”

Jari Mejia, ‘24

Jari Mejia, ‘24

  • Finance and Accounting major
  • 3.81 GPA
  • President of CABS, UIC Business Scholar, Member of ALPFA

Jari’s career goal is to work for a Big Four accounting firm and, over time, use his professional experiences to move into a high-level corporate position.

Regarding what it means for Jari to be a CME Group Foundation Scholar, he said, “Being selected as a CME Group Foundation Scholar made me realize that my hard work is paying off. It demonstrates to me that other people see the potential that I hold, and that motivates me to keep doing what I am doing. I now dedicate all my time to ensuring I am successful in school.

Not only have I prioritized my education, but I also made more of an effort to become involved in different organizations on campus. Overall, I can say that the CME Group Foundation scholarship has allowed me to partake in activities that I enjoy.”

Natalie Ramirez, ‘25

Natalie Ramirez, ‘25

  • Accounting and Finance major
  • 3.5 GPA
  • Treasurer for ALPFA, UIC Business Scholar, Member of the Honors College

In the summer of 2024, Natalie will complete an internship with PwC in audit accounting. She intends to obtain a CPA license and work in public accounting. She is also very passionate about being a role model for other Hispanic students and wants to give back to the Hispanic community by providing the resources they will need to further their education.

“The CME Group Foundation scholarship has given me the opportunity to really focus on my education and be more involved on campus. I am this year’s treasurer for ALPFA, which has given me more responsibilities and leadership growth. Lastly, being a CME Group Foundation Scholar helped me become debt-free, which will gives me the opportunity to achieve my goals and open the doors to new possibilities.”

Joshua Sanchez Bustos, ‘24

Joshua Sanchez Bustos, ‘24

  • Accounting major
  • 3.95 GPA
  • President of the Accounting Club, President of the Running Club, Member of the Marksmanship Club

Academically, Joshua intends to graduate with a 3.95 GPA and sit for the CPA exam.

As a student leader, Joshua wants to use his role as the president of the Accounting Club to help as many students as possible with gaining experience in the accounting industry. As a student athlete, he is excited to represent the Running Club by competing in Northwestern University’s Indoor Triathlon during the spring 2024 semester.

During the summer of 2023, he completed an event accounting internship at KPMG, which resulted in a full-time job offer upon graduation. He will go on to work full-time for KPMG’s Tax/Real Estate division.

Joshua shared the following about what it means to him to be a CME Group Foundation scholarship: “To be a CME Group Foundation Scholar means that all the work I have done over the past four years was not only a victory for myself, but also a victory for minorities. To be publicly recognized by a company that has a large role in the world’s electronically traded derivatives means that I have gone beyond expectations. Finally, it means that I have broken ethnic barriers in the corporate world through the knowledge and experience I gained while being a UIC Business student.”

Scholars Not Pictured:

  • Michael King
  • Moses Garcia

Congratulations to this year’s winners!