Thursday, November 6, 2008

Volunteer Spotlight: Zak Kustok

Former Big Ten Quarterback Zak Kustok graduated from Northwestern University as the second most prolific passer in school history. A star both on and off the field, Kustok’s talent and leadership led his team to a share of the 2000 Big Ten title while acing his economics coursework at the same time. After spending brief stints with the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins and our very own Chicago Bears from 2002 to 2004, Zak eventually decided to put his economics degree to use, landing a job at the Chicago Board of Trade as a Sales Trader in 2003. He quickly made a name for himself and was asked only 2 years later to start a Chicago chapter of the Bavaro group, which he helped lead until they were bought out last year. He is currently working as an account manager with Stryker Medical.

Zak is a brand new volunteer here at Cabrini Connections; he started the last week of October on a recommendation from his friend and former teammate at NU, Cabrini Connections Administrative Coordinator, EL Da’Sheon. He was paired up with fellow football player, Lincoln Park High School Junior Raheem Muhammad. Raheem was in the program in the past but left after his tutor took a job in another city. He’s back now and looking to Zak for guidance and support as he looks to stay on track during his Junior and Senior years. Zak is glad to be paired up with a student who is so driven to learn and succeed! Zak, learning from his collegiate experience working with youth through the D.A.R.E. outreach program, is excited to “keep Raheem on the right path,” sharing his experience as a Big Ten football player and offering advice to another promising young football player. However, Zak is not one to push his past onto his student, he’s made it clear that Raheem is in the driver’s seat and will offer his unconditional support whether Raheem chooses to pursue football, construction or the culinary arts upon graduation.

We’re so glad to have young, talented mentors like Zak here at Cabrini Connections, mentors who can bond with their students through shared life experience and also a genuine desire to connect and build a solid foundation for a long-term relationship of mutual support. Thanks Zak!

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