Proudly Penn: your stories, your university
my personal life so closely to my academic life at Penn that it’s sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins!
My journey began in a Latino community where the idea of going to college was considered far-fetched. But my personal goals were high, and through A Better Chance, a program for talented students of color, I set my goals even higher.
When it came time to look at colleges, I immediately chose Penn. It was urban, rigorous, the “diversity Ivy” — everything that mattered to me. Here, as a double major immersed in Sociology and Urban Studies courses about underserved communities and educational disparities, I had my first revelation: I was studying exactly what I had lived!
After graduating I joined Teach for America, where I fell in love with teaching — and my Latino 4th graders in the Bronx. It was like coming home, but I could see I needed to do more. I returned to Penn, got my master’s, and now I’m focused on building capacity worldwide to empower youth through education.
I know that I’ll always be passionate about education and that a culture of collaboration — across silos of non-profits, the private sector, and government — will be crucial for real change to take root and grow.
Meanwhile, as a new — and proud — alumna, I’m co-chairing Penn Spectrum this fall, Penn’s first-ever conference on diversity, bringing together Latino, Black, Asian, Native American, and LGBT alumni. It’s huge. Historic. And a perfect example of the power of collaboration.
Penn is where everything comes together — my great big extended family where everyone can relate personal identity with a larger community. Each of us has a part in making the world a better place, and together we will.