Thank you for visiting my website. In a blog I wrote for NASPA or Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, I reflected on my own professional experience.
I found both education and my work in higher education by chance! The one thing I knew for sure when my mother decided to bring me to the United States from the Dominican Republic at the age of twelve was that this would be my only chance to attend school. Like many of my colleagues and the students with whom we work every day, I was a first generation college student and, in fact, the first person to earn a high school diploma in my family.
Without a roadmap, my educational and professional journeys have been deeply shaped by a willingness to experiment, leaps of faith, and a deep reliance on mentors and role models to help me find my way. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work in six different institutions and have strategically pursued professional development to keep learning and to fill the gaps I have encountered as a first generation Latinx professional (2016).
Professionally, I have been extremely fortunate to work at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) all over the United States, including, California, Florida, Indiana, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. In all these places, I have felt challenged and supported, included and excluded, often misunderstood and struggled to bring my whole self to my work and within the community. However, in all these places, I have also felt appreciated, encouraged, strengthened by amazing colleagues and friends and nurtured to success by loyal, compassionate and dedicated colleagues, as well as courageous students.
My commitment to living a life with purpose, dedicated to service, to working as an advocate to create access and to confronting issues of inclusion, equity and social justice, is deeply rooted in the privileges I have gained while navigating the experiences listed above and many more. In my personal and professional journey, I have been fortunate to have many experiences that have shaped my daily practice, provided diverse perspectives and formed my inclusive and collaborative work philosophy. Some of those experiences include growing up as the oldest and female child in a very traditional Latinx family, transitioning from a rural, island culture to a Brooklyn community filled with poverty, violence, and drugs, having to learn English after arriving in the United States, experiencing poverty and homelessness as a high school student, confronting many intersections of identity around issues of class, ethnicity, race and identifying as a queer woman from a very Catholic family.
I hope that as you learn more about my work and about me, you too will be inspired to reflect on how who you have and continue to be influenced and shaped by your experiences, oth personally and professionally. I hope that you will also be inspired to give a little bit more of yourself and to pay it forward as you go.
Hopefully, I too will have a chance to learn more about you, your work and how you strive to live and work with purpose. If you want to connect with me, please use the social media links at the bottom of this page.