During my freshman year, I went to Guatemala on an Alternative Break program with Mason. The trip opened my eyes to the difference I can make in the world. I knew I wanted to help people help themselves. My experiences in two trips to Guatemala- one as a participant and the other as a leader-helped me to shape my academic and career aspirations. And I changed my major along the way, from Nursing to Global Affairs.
I have participated in many organizations such as the Mariposas Mentoring Program, a women’s mentoring program aimed at helping the transition of freshmen and sophomores into the Mason academic and social lifestyle. I am currently the President of the Hispanic Student Association (HSA) for this academic year. As a Global Affairs student, I have also become a part of the Mason Association for Global Affairs and currently hold the Secretary position for this organization. The Mariposas mentoring program actually paired me up with a mentor that was a Global Affairs student. My mentor was able to encourage me in my Global Affairs studies and helped me when it came time to choosing classes.
The Hispanic Student Association has allowed me, as a Latina, to continue learning about other cultures and countries aside from my own. The Mason Association for Global Affairs has helped me delve further into current issues, allowed me to participate in debates, and has furthered my knowledge on certain issues.
All of these organizations have allowed me to network with other students and learn about different opportunities. Had it not been for all of these organizations shaping me, I would not be the student leader I am today. I hope to share the Latino culture with individuals who have yet to experience some of the great things the culture and people have to offer. We have many educational events going on not just from HSA, but from other Latino organizations on-campus. We want to educate students on the beauty of this culture, how this culture came to be, the struggles it’s been through, and the areas of improvements there are left.
My involvement with student organizations does not take away from my academic interests and commitments. I am currently a research assistant for Global Affair with Professor Jatinder P Singh. During my time as a research assistant, I have gained a lot of knowledge as to what it takes to be a researcher. Earlier this year, with my co-research assistants, I was able to attend the National Conference for Undergraduate Research in Spokane, Washington. At the conference, Dr. Singh and I spoke about the work we had been doing during the past academic year.
I plan to apply for graduate school here at Mason and hope to complete the Mason International Program and a term of service in the Peace Corps. I would like to one day work for a non-profit that aims to help with humanitarian efforts or my dream job would be to work with the UN or USAID.
September 29, 2015