The experience and knowledge I have acquired in college has assisted me in the pursuit of my goals and aspirations as well as in the development of my community simultaneously. The more complete, skilled and successful I become, the more wise and capable I am to contribute to the development of my community.
This past year and a half I have volunteered with various organizations, mostly with Student Life department at FIT but not limited to it as I have also worked with Garden In Transit, Gen Art and NY Blood Donors. Volunteering has helped me become a more well-rounded individual by allowing me to meet and establish relationships with people for reasons other than my major, by connecting me to my community, and making me aware of the needs and strengths of others; by exposing me to new challenges and experiences.
Student Life helps us develop a more involved student body that feels like a community. At a city “campus” where commuter students form most of our population, it takes a big effort to have that college spirit. Wanting to be a part of that effort, I was chosen to be one of three coordinators. I never thought I would do this in college; it has been such an honor to be leader of a program that does so much for students. It aids a great deal specially for those who are far away from home, or by themselves- it builds community! We are like a family of people that are trying to better this world.
We are the mediators between the authority and the disoriented, help-needing student. I have gone through it, and now know how to solve the problems. In orientation week this past august, I helped a girl from Puerto Rico by pointing her to the right people at the right time. To be able to change someone’s life radically –to save them the frustrations and a year of college, and encourage them to get involved and reach out is incredibly rewarding.
In my involvement with the Latin American Student Organization, I have showcased our diverse Latino talent and promoted awareness of our culture. From Capoeira performances, to alerting, and informing our peers about the Women of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to a Fashion Show and the organization another one just for Latino students, and Hands on NY Day, where we painted a mural at a middle school in the Bronx and bonded with the students.
I was also recommended to attend the NY Model Senate Session Project, being the only representative from FIT. I gave the opening debate speech at the senate chamber and was part of the democratic minority party that for the first time in 12 years convinced 5 people from the opposing party. I never thought I would be delivering a speech at the Senate Chamber in Albany NY!
Not only has it been amazing to do community service-but in doing that, I have grown so much. I have become more successful. Yes, being an accomplished individual helps me HELP my community, by helping my community I thrive to revolutionize, and make a difference, generate positive change. A little bit of extra effort and time, just as the Foundation has done with us, it is our responsibility to give back, to share the knowledge. Los Padres has allowed me to have a better future, and I hope to do the same for others.