Any advice for incoming freshman?
Get involved as much as you can and never feel like you’re imposing or inconveniencing someone because more often than not, they have been asked before for a letter of recommendation, their experiences, or just to have a conversation. Really stepping out of your comfort zone and asking for help when you need it is crucial.
Also, get to know your department. Get to know the chair of the department or your student affairs officer. When an opportunity reminds them of you they will email you about it directly. Build those relationships because at the end of the day, you need community and a support system.
Were you involved in any activities on campus or in the community?
A lot of what I’ve done was mostly in helping and advocating for transfer students. I was involved with Center for Community College Partnerships, where we worked with community colleges in LA county to help students transfer to four year institutions, including UC, private, and Cal States schools. That was very rewarding because I was in the same position a few years back as a first generation student with minimal resources. It’s important to guide other students through the process.
What was your favorite course in the labor studies program?
I enjoyed the class I took with Toby Higbie on examining archival documents because I had the opportunity to access information from a specific worker center. I also looked at different unions, politics and movements of the time, and the types of newsletters that were created. It was interesting that some of the documents weren’t translated to Spanish even though a majority of the members were Spanish speakers.
I also liked Victor Narro’s class on spiritually and mindfulness. It reinforced that despite the toxic environment we may be experiencing right now in the political rhetoric, there are ways to heal and not allow that to interfere with our personal lives. The class gave me a moment to reflect and realize that despite the challenges I’m facing, I have control on how I feel and the power to dictate how I allow that sentiment or emotion to be internalized.
Any plans after graduation?
My goal is to apply to law school. In the meantime, I hope to get a part time job with a non-profit or law firm, while studying for the LSAT. I want to eventually do a joint degree with a MSW (Masters of Social Welfare) and a JD.