Reaching Stellar: The Campaign for the University of Illinois Springfield

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The Reaching Stellar priorities include scholarships, academic excellence, the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies, the public good, and facilities & technology. Please consider how you can be part of this initiative that is so important to UIS.

Meet Ricardo Montoya Picazo, Young Philanthropist

Ricardo Montoya PicazoUIS Degrees

  • BA Political Science 2010
  • MA Practical Politics 2012


Current position

Field Representative for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, IL-17th at U.S. House of Representatives in Rockford, Illinois

As a Field Representative for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I am the person who represents Congresswoman Bustos at all events and meetings, and with constituents for the Northwestern Region of Illinois (total of 5 counties) when she is in session in Washington D.C. I am the ears, the voice, and the eyes for Congresswoman Bustos in my region.

What I most enjoy about my job

The ability to change the lives of the people I serve as a public servant.


What have you supported at UIS?

The UIS Scholarship Fund,* the UIS Fund, the Student Union, and the Illinois Innocence Project.

Where do your philanthropic impulses come from?

My mother always told me that in order to transform or make a change on something you believe, you must also be engage, work, and give back to your community.

Why do you contribute to the UIS Scholarship Fund?

I contribute to the UIS Scholarship Fund because higher education should be accessible to all students. Access to learn at UIS should never be deprived to a student due to financial strains. This is why I give!

Is there anything you would say to other alumni to encourage them to give?

Your contribution matters, as alumni we have the power to transform students lives. Every dollar is a future scholarship for one student in need. Therefore, your contribution does not go in vain, but rather to good works.

UIS Alumnihood

What I most value about my academic degrees at UIS

My degree gave me opportunities to fully engage in my field of work, and it prepared me to understand the concepts of politics from the ground up when serving the people.

The last time UIS came up in conversation for me

Three weeks ago, I was explaining my co-worker my degree and how it build me up to where I am today.

My advice for UIS students

Take the knowledge you have acquired while attending UIS. This knowledge will reward you in your future endeavors. UIS has rewarded me and it should reward you as well. Be a proud Prairie Star and the next Leadership Lived!

Is there any way UIS can help you be of service to me as an alum?

UIS should continue advocating for our DACA students and continue giving them the opportunity for knowledge growth.

A Fun Fact

I’m the 2nd youngest of 9 sons.


*The UIS Scholarship Fund aggregates donations from many people to create scholarships for students. Many years, up to 8-10 students receive scholarships from the Fund. You can find this and other scholarship funds here.