Steve Deeloo smiles on a sunny day in Chicago.

News & Features

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Money is important to Steve Deeloo. Really important. It’s a value the Northeastern Illinois University senior developed growing up with his family in Iraq with little to get by. And then living for nine years together as refugees in Jordan.

For Deeloo, money isn’t about being rich—it’s about freedom and survival.

Now on the verge of becoming the first member of his family to earn a college degree, Deeloo is proud of what his education can do for his family and his community.

“I have learned that helping people save money or make money is the best thing I can do for them,” said Deeloo, who moved to the United States with his mother and two sisters in 2009 before his father came to join them a year later. “At church, people will ask me for advice on securing a mortgage or building credit. It gives me a great feeling. It makes me feel really proud of myself that I’m able to help in the slightest.”

While Deeloo is on track to earn his Bachelor of Science in Finance later this year, he already is moving up in the business world.

Recently promoted into a private client banker position with JP Morgan Chase Bank, Deeloo introduces clients to bank products and benefits, and refers clients to private and business banking specialists. Later this year, he plans to sit for the CFA Level I exam on his career path to becoming a financial analyst.

“Every week he helped other students in class to better understand the materials and where they could find information in the text,” Management Instructor Patrick Delaney said. “Steve is goal-oriented both in his career potential and in his immediate certification efforts to become a Certified Financial Analyst. He is a serious student and represents the school well.”

Deeloo arrived at Northeastern in 2013 after graduating from Mather High School in Chicago. In one of his first classes, he befriended a Marketing major named Brian.

“Outside of this school we didn’t have much in common, but now he has grown to become a dear friend of mine,” Deeloo said, noting that his own native language is Assyrian Arabic while Brian speaks English and Spanish. “Northeastern introduced me to people who have helped me. Brian has been pushing me since the day I met him, whether it was scheduling or competing with me on grades.”

That mix of students was a major part of what attracted Deeloo to the University.

“What I really love about Northeastern is the diversity, this common struggle that most students have gone through,” Deeloo said. “You can easily relate to other students. The ones you can’t relate to, you can learn from.”

Deeloo’s “zeal for learning” was an inspiration to English Language Program Instructor Christine Swanson and the other students in the two classes they shared together.

“Steve was a model student, and honestly, I especially looked forward to teaching these two courses because his interest in learning was contagious,” Swanson said. “Steve proved to be an empathetic listener and an important contributor to class discussions and group activities. I found Steve’s greatest strengths to be his willingness to listen to others, to analyze every concept with a critical eye, and to jump on every opportunity to apply what he was learning.”

As much as his instructors appreciate Deeloo’s contributions to class, he equally appreciates what he takes away from those classes.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better or been any more proud of my school,” Deeloo said. “The fact that Northeastern supports the community, it helps the community do better, it gives them the chance they need. You can’t put a price on that.”