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2024 - Meet Daniel Alves

Tags: Student Profile
Published 03/08/2024
ECC international student Daniel Alves

ECC international student Daniel Alves

Elgin Community College international student Daniel Alves is embarking on his next journey here in the US. Originally from Parana, Brazil, the culinary arts graduate decided to enroll in ECC’s criminal justice program.

Before coming to ECC in August of 2022, Alves graduated from a culinary arts program in Brazil and even worked as a chef and bartender.

“I did culinary arts back home for my family. We have restaurants, mainly Italian cuisine,” Alves said. “I’m here to pursue something for myself this time.”

Alves is studying criminal justice, something that, like culinary arts, is connected to his family.

“My grandpa is a veteran, and he would share stories that I found super interesting, like being on active duty during 1964, which was a very dark time for Brazil.”

Alves’ father also worked for the justice department in Brazil.

Alves lives in St. Charles with one of ECC’s International Homestay Program, which provides full-time international students to reside in an American home as a family member. When researching where to live in the US, he found that ECC’s program was the best way to immerse himself in the culture. “We’re one big family,” he said. “I never imagined when I came here I’d have a second family in the US.”

Alves is a familiar face on campus as a student worker for the Office of Student Life, working the front desk, and as a Spartan Leader. In this position, he’s been able to meet new people and learn about them, which worked out well as an international student new to the college and country.

Alves is nearing the end of his time at ECC and plans to graduate this spring. He’s looking to transfer to Texas State University to continue pursuing his passion for criminal justice, continuing to follow in the footsteps of those he says are the most influential men in his life.

Read on and learn more about the student on many of ECC’s posters and helping run student life events!

What’s something you do outside of ECC? Ninety percent of the time, I’m working on my truck. It always needs something, so I’ve been learning a lot about mechanics from my neighbor who does it for a career, and it’s become a nice hobby. I was more into video games before I bought my truck, but as soon as I got it, I left those aside and worked on it almost every weekend. It helps keep me busy and helps me understand mechanics better, so if something happens, I can fix it myself or help someone else.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? I wanted to be in the military back home, especially in the special forces. In Brazil, it’s different than joining the military here. You have mandatory service, and as soon as you finish, you have one week to decide if you want to stay in the military or leave. I left after my mandatory service. If I want to go back, I’d need approval. I also wanted to be a police officer, but during that time, I was in college to be a chef, which was too much. I just wanted to be like my grandpa and dad, which I’m going forward with now.

What’s your favorite meal to cook or eat out? That’s a tricky question! My family has a recipe for a pasta carbonara that’s been in our family for over 200 years. They brought it to Brazil from Italy after the Second World War, so I loved to cook it for my family and friends. I think my favorite food to eat out is traditional Texas barbeque. There’s a place in Geneva called Fire Water that’s so good.

What’s your favorite spot on campus? The little garden up on the Building B rooftop. I found it in the fall of last year, and one day, I went to do a little walk, and it took me all the way to the big garden in the back. It’s a very nice place in the summer. I also like the library. The second floor has a glass wall where you can see the entire outside, and it’s very nice, too.

Shout out an ECC staff member or peer! I would like to shout out Student Life — the entire department. They’re very kind and nice to me, and they understand that I’m an international student and that working at the college is the only job I can have in the U.S. They always try to help me get more hours or work the events.