"On move-in day my freshman year, my dad’s trusty cab escorted us from the South Bronx to Cornell. Upon our arrival, I felt like Marty McFly in 'Back To The Future', traveling to the year 2015 dressed in a way fit only for the ’80s. Jumping straight out of the time-machine, from some far-away land and into the golden present, I was embarrassed; I didn’t want the other kids with their fancy cars and U-Haul trucks to think this was actually our car — I didn’t want them to know that this was actually my dad. Designated parking areas didn’t help either. They unintentionally stratified families by car models like an auto show. Welcome to Cornell."
As a first-generation, low-income, woman of color, my journey in navigating to and through instituions of higher education has been frought by debt, inaccessibility, while also being blessed in finding the communities I got to call home. Through resisting with other students who were also struggling against institutional barrier, we found our own places of belonging within spaces not designed with us in mind. Having graduated and being the first in my family to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree was nothing short from daunting. Regardless, it was my mentors, comunidad, familia, advisors, and opportunity programs that rallied along beside me to get me to the graduation stage -- my family's wildest dreams.
For this reason, as my first full-time position out of college, I'm excited to be a fellow with Future Leaders in Action. By taking this position, I committed to raising $500, which will help fund expenses related to the program I am working on throughout the fellowship. FLIA is committed to cultivating leaders strengthening nonprofits and supporting youth through their fellowship program. I am currently working as a College Access Fellow at the Fiver Children's Foundation to revise, create, and facilitate curriculum to prepare high school juniors and seniors for college and beyond. I hope to extend the same opportunities and resources that were there to guide me for students who I can relate to all too well.
Please help me support FLIA by making a donation through my page or through Venmo (@FutureLeadersInAction). Other individuals deserve to continue having these opportunities to work within non-profits, to cultivate their leadership skills, and develop the agency in occupying space within the next tier that follows the inaccessible spaces often created by colleges: the work force. We belong here, too.
Thanks so much for your support and please don't forget to send this page to any friends you think might be interested in donating!