You’re passionate about education, but are interested in the administration side as opposed to teaching on the ground. Tell us about the opportunities you’d ideally have and what do you hope you can achieve from that/those platforms?
There’s a need for resources that support undocumented students even before college. Working in education administration would allow me to work on programs that would better prepare undocumented students. You don’t hear a lot about programs that truly support these students. I know because I was once one of those students, uncertain about my future and oftentimes questioned if college was even a choice for me.
What misconception about people with an undocumented status do you think is the most surprising and/or frustrating?
There are many misconceptions about we undocumented students and I can’t pick one above another. To begin with, not all of us have sad stories. Some of us actually take pride in how hard we work each and every day to pursue our dreams. It’s true that we all struggle, but our struggles, like our stories, vary in shape and form.
A lot of people expect undocumented people to be Latinos. The reality is that being undocumented does not have a look. There’s no way for someone to tell if one is undocumented unless we open up about it. Personally, I always catch people by surprise when I disclose it to them. The first thing they usually comment on is my accent. I always get that “you don’t have a thick accent” comment and it used to offend me, but now I take it as a chance to educate people on who undocumented people really are.
You’ve been very active in your sorority here on campus. Can you tell us about that part of your campus life and how it has enriched your experience here at NEIU?
Going Greek has allowed me to grow as a leader, serve my community, and grow professionally. My sorority sisters are my family away from home and I’m grateful for them because they made my undergraduate experience so much better at NEIU.
What opportunities and support has NEIU made available to you that another university may not have due to your undocumented status?
During my time at NEIU, being undocumented never kept me from taking advantage of opportunities such as traveling, attending conferences, or even working on campus. NEIU always had options for me.