You graduated from Classical Magnet High School and started at Wheaton in 2016. What feelings do you have when you reflect on your graduation from high school and the time when you first enrolled at Wheaton? Classical Magnet High School served as my middle school and high school. Reflecting back on my high school graduation, I genuinely remember feeling scared. Although I had been accepted to Wheaton College and was attending in the Fall of 2016, a part of me was not ready to let go of all the relationships I had made at Classical. Of course, those anxious thoughts did not last very long. I soon attended various Wheaton college events that were precisely created for incoming freshmen. There, I made lots of friends, declared my major as undecided, and enrolled in classes that interested me—in hopes of finding a major that I enjoyed. Later, I realized the reasons why I applied to Wheaton College. Their vow to a liberal arts education was very similar to my high school’s curriculum, and the college was a private and small institution.
What advice would you give to a freshman just starting their journey in college? The advice that I would give freshmen who are just starting their college journey is to give themselves time to get used to change. As Socrates stated, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but also on building the new.
Can you share what the last few months at Wheaton were like? What sort of challenges did you have to overcome and how did you persevere? My last few months at Wheaton were filled with many emotions. I was angry that my senior year of college ended so abruptly. The seniors had no time to say farewell to the excellent faculty and my adored peers. My in-person graduation was indefinitely canceled. And lastly, I had to work as a full-time student from home. None of these events were easy, but with much support from faculty, family, and friends, I persevere. I cleared out a guest room in my home and made it into my study space. I added little things such as candles, a plant, and speakers to make the space as comfortable as possible. The change in an environment truly helped me conquer the school year and still graduate with the Dean’s List.
You’re currently the Executive Assistant in the Mayor’s office. Can you walk us through your typical day(s)? Did you plan on working in the public sector and how do you feel working for the city of Hartford? Yes, I am the EA in the Mayor’s Office. I was unemployed for three months after graduation. After attending a video session with Richard Sugarman and Sam Levine, they brought my attention to an open position at the Mayor’s Office. A few days later, Sam emailed me the position summary and the point of contact. About three weeks later, I was hired for the position. I had dreamt of working in the public sector but did not expect my part to come so soon, but I’m glad it did. It’s a real honor to work for the City of Hartford and to work alongside city leaders. A typical day at the Mayor’s Office consists of answering office phone calls, assisting the Chief of Staff and the Chief Operating Officer with their needs, and sometimes preparing the function room for press conferences.
How did college prepare you to start a career working in city government? Wheaton College provided me the resources I needed to be successful in a public sector position such as a city government. I graduated from the Political Science/International Relations curriculum, which taught me a range of knowledge within politics and American history. Also, I was able to strengthen my Spanish-speaking ability through the Hispanic Studies program. Both majors have prepared me to better serve my hometown.
You recently made a generous donation to Hartford Promise (thank you!). Can you share why you were motivated to do this and why the organization is important to you? Hartford Promise has helped me in so many ways. I remember struggling to find motivation during my sophomore year in college. However, I remember receiving emails of encouragement from Hartford Promise, and those emails served as a reminder that this organization believed in their scholars and knew their potential. Hartford Promise never gives up on their scholars. And, they will always find ways to help and support students. I’m forever grateful for Hartford Promise, and of course, I make a promise to always give back to this beautiful organization.
What’s one thing you want people to know about the organization? My message to the readers is: If you support Hartford Public School students and support their journey in attending college, please give back in any way that you can to this organization. There are more ways other than making a monetary donation to helping this organization. Such as volunteering during Hartford Promise events or telling your friends and family about this organization! Spread the word!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In ten years, I hope to have graduated from law school and working to support immigrant families. Unsure where I would be working at that time, maybe as a government official, but I would love to continuously serve the City of Hartford and its residents.
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