What has surprised you about your Northeastern experience?
I didn’t really think that I would be connected to it so much like I do now. This school became like a second home to me ever since I started doing research in the Biology Department with Dr. Sarah Orlofske. She saw potential in me that I honestly didn’t see in myself, and I will be forever grateful for that. She gave me the opportunity to do research my first semester at NEIU in the fall of 2015. She became my mentor who gave me constructive criticism, advice about life and skills that have helped me to this day.
What makes you proud?
What makes me the most proud is my family and all of the hardships we’ve endured to make it this far together. I’m also proud of the skills and knowledge I gained to overcome the obstacles in the way of obtaining my associate and bachelor’s degrees. Being part of NEIU has also made me feel very proud. The opportunities, classes and most importantly the professors that this school has to offer have made me feel very proud to be here every day and excited to keep learning.
Describe a community you are a part of. What do you derive from it and what you contribute to it?
Crossfit Notorious. It’s an awesome and extremely supportive fitness community where I can de-stress and feel powerful. When I joined, I was welcomed with nothing but kindness and overwhelming encouragement. We all try to overcome heavier sets of weight together, push past our limits and expectations of ourselves. At this gym we are more than what the world views us, and our diversity makes us stronger. I contribute the same amount of support and encouragement that I was welcomed with to the people that supported me as well as new members.
If you had time to learn something new, what would it be?
I’d probably do something athletic such as aerial fitness or a martial art, because I’ve always had a fascination for things that challenge my body physically. Doing something active makes me feel healthy not only physically but mentally and spiritually. I would love to learn two Filipino dialects, Tagalog and Bisaya, so I can overcome the language barrier between myself and my parents. Family means a lot to me, but I’ve always felt disconnected from not completely understanding my parents’ Filipino dialects, so hopefully that will connect me to them more as well as with my extended family.