Through the Student Lens – Phonathon students advance Wheaton’s mission while gaining invaluable insight

You know that the Wheaton Fund Phonathon benefits all students, but did you know the myriad opportunities and experiences being a Phonathon caller offers? Meet two talented student Phonathon workers who are reaping the benefits while helping support their Wheaton community and take a look “Through the Student Lens.”

Charles Campbell ’23
Major: Economics / Minor: Sociology
Hometown: New York City, NY

Celines Ramirez ’24
Major: Undeclared with interest in Psychology or Neuroscience
Hometown: Bronx in New York City, NY

What do you feel you gain personally working as a student Phonathon caller?

Charles: As a Phonathon caller, I have become a better conversationalist and more appreciative of everything Wheaton has to offer. I will never forget some of the conversations I have had with alumni and parents. The ability to connect with people I have never met over the phone is amazing, especially when we both share a common love for the place we call or used to call home. These conversations with Wheaton alumni and parents have made me appreciate Wheaton more than ever. Knowing that members of the Wheaton community partially fund nearly everything I use daily is humbling. It puts into perspective how powerful the Wheaton community is; I know that when it matters, everyone, including those who graduated decades ago, will come together to help. I am happy that I am a part of a community like this.

Celines: Since I call alumni, I get the chance to hear what Wheaton was like for many different alumni, ranging from different interests and majors, to the different years they graduated. From these conversations, I’ve managed to talk to people with similar interests and have gotten to hear their thoughts on topics like the best professors to take classes with, or which clubs I should keep an eye out for. Not only do I get insight coming from alumni who have already been through their college experience, but I also sometimes get to network and connect with them on more of a professional level based on my interests and their work.

Why do you think it is important for parents and families to make Wheaton a philanthropic priority?

Charles: Being a Phonathon caller has allowed me to see the usefulness of donations and how they improve the Wheaton community. I appreciate how the Wheaton Fund enables you to donate to specific designations like scholarships, areas of greatest need, athletics, etc. When the opportunity arises, I will contribute to the fund because I know that it will better the experiences of future Wheaton students. I will donate because I know that many of the extracurriculars I love to partake in are the product of familial and alumni donations. For alumni and families, and to anyone who has had a positive experience at Wheaton, I think it’s essential to make Wheaton a philanthropic priority to make sure that everything you enjoyed as a Wheaton student can be enjoyed by others in the future as well.

Celines: I think it is important for parents and families to make Wheaton a philanthropic priority because they can directly see how they can help students have better opportunities and experiences. Hearing from their Wheaton student about everything that they are able to do at college should be enough for parents and families to want to help and be a part of it. Any donations can be directed towards a specific area, giving parents and families the opportunity to help a specific part of the school—and from there, they are able to see just how their donation has helped, by following what students have done. My family was able to give to the school last year when called and it was nice to see how they helped the school directly, not only just me.

What do you know about the importance of the Wheaton Parents Fund and how do you feel you benefit?

Charles: One thing that I have learned by working with the Wheaton Fund is that students’ tuition does not pay for everything we use; as a result, we depend on the generosity of alumni, parents, and families. The Wheaton Parents Fund plays a considerable role in my experience as a student. The clubs I am a part of all operate on a school budget, the classrooms I learn in, the food I eat—all of that is a product of the generosity of the Wheaton community. It’s motivating to know that people are investing in our experiences and education as Wheaton students.

Celines: The Wheaton Parents Fund is important as it is what allows for students at Wheaton to really thrive where they are, or where they want to be. Through gifts given by donors, they can be able to help fund students’ educational careers, opening gateways for them that would not be possible otherwise. Personally, I get to have a better overall experience at Wheaton through the clubs and programs offered and I also get to see club organizers and program leads who are able to do what they want without worrying about funding.

What is your most memorable call where your outreach raised money for the college and how did that make you feel?

Charles: I remember a beautiful conversation I had with an alum during the pandemic that revolved around our experiences at Wheaton. We are both economics majors. Upon learning of my major decision, he was highly excited to discuss the courses and professors we’ve both loved. We spent so long talking. He offered me some advice on courses I should take and advice on how I could turn that into a career.

I remember this call so vividly because it emphasized to me how generous our community is. I didn’t ask for any advice, but he offered me his insight and wisdom and genuinely seemed excited about it. Towards the end of the call, he expressed that he was going to donate to the college. I left this call feeling incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to talk to this alum. I was happy that I was able to have such a fantastic conversation with him and that, in the end, he also felt the urge to donate to the school. It felt good to know that I am helping raise money for the community I love. I was appreciative of him not only because he donated but because he was so eager to impart his wisdom to me even though we had only met over the phone.

Celines: My most memorable call where I’ve been able to raise money took place last spring. I spoke on the phone for about 20 minutes with an alum who had graduated within the last few years. I got to ask her about her neuroscience major and all of the extracurricular activities she was involved in, which were many. She was happy to talk to me and answer questions I had, and I answered the questions she asked. She was particularly interested in hearing what Wheaton was like since her graduation, especially through COVID. I shared my firsthand experience and listened to what it was like for her. Our entire conversation made me feel happy. I was able to hear feedback from an alum who was kind enough to be honest with me and she even gave me her contact information so I could reach out to her and network.

Through the Student Lens

Charles and Celines are just two of the many talented and interesting students here at Wheaton. As parents and guardians, you are an integral part of our community. Through the Student Lens brings the campus to you, as seen through the eyes of our students, the many roles they play and the experiences they gain during their time here at Wheaton.