Category: Alumni in Action

 

 

Name:

Eury German

 

High School:

Lynn English High School

 

Year of LVS Graduation:

2012

 

What college did you attend/currently attend?

Wesleyan University, Bachelor of Arts (2012-2016)

New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Master of Fine Arts (2016-2018)

 

 

What did you major in?

Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Dance

Master of Fine Arts Candidate in Dance

 

How/When did you decide on your major?

I knew I wanted to major in Biology before attending college because I’ve always been interested in the sciences. More specifically, I’ve always been interested in the human body which is why I was a Biology major with a Neuroscience concentration. I decided to major in Dance after my first year at Wesleyan when I had realized my passion for the art form.

 

Did you have any internships while in college? Where? What did you do?

I attended the dance equivalent of internships during my summers at Wesleyan. Thankfully, I attended these intensives through generous donations and scholarships. The summer after my sophomore year, I attended the American Dance Festival in North Carolina for six weeks. The summer after my junior year, I attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance for four weeks and the Strictly Seattle Dance Intensive for four weeks.

 

Finally, this past summer, after my first year of graduate school, I returned to the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance for ten weeks on full scholarship. These intensives were designed to mimic professional dance company environments in which we trained in various dance techniques for multiple hours everyday and had the opportunity of working and networking with established and emerging choreographers.

 

What do you plan to do after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to join a professional dance company and tour the world.

 

 

Where are you working now? 

I am currently an MFA candidate in the Department of Dance at NYU Tisch. I work part-time at the Joyce Theater in Chelsea, NYC and as a Graduate Assistant teaching Dance History at Tisch School of the Arts.

 

 

What do you remember the most from your time in La Vida Scholars?

What I remember most from my time at La Vida Scholars was the comradery and friendships formed. La Vida Scholars is filled with intellectually curious and driven students that congregate to share their passion for knowledge and education. I felt simultaneously challenged and encouraged by my peers and my instructors. Additionally, some of my favorite moments include the various events held at La Vida for the purpose of community building and engagement.

 

 

What are some things you learned at La Vida Scholars that prepared you for college life, finances, and academics?

A strong work ethic was the most important thing I learned at La Vida Scholars. I strengthened my ability to set and complete long-term and short-term goals. I also developed a strong sense of hard working accountability, autonomy, and reliability. With my peers – and through community engagement – I also developed a strong sense of leadership, volunteerism, and dedication.

 

What are three words that come to mind when you think of La Vida Scholars?

Access, Opportunity, and Success.

 

Name

Denis Garcia Reyes

 

High School

Lynn Classical

 

Year of LVS Graduation

2015

 

College

Stonehill College

 

Major

Psychology and Sociology; minor in Latin American Studies

 

How did you decide on a major?

I decided on the majors because I have always had a passion for working with people. I want my career to focus on positively impacting people and improving society. In my spring semester of freshman year I decided on adding sociology as a second major.

 

Did you have any internships while in college?

This summer I worked in the Career Development Center as the Academic Affairs Intern – I learned a lot about the academic division at Stonehill College. I was able to work on projects that would further improve office efficiency and was able to network with many people in the higher education industry.

 

Last year, I interned in the office of Admissions at Stonehill College. I served as the Multicultural Outreach Intern. I represented Stonehill at college fairs around the Greater Boston Area, created research proposals on how to better recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds, and coordinated and implemented the multicultural overnight visit for prospective students in April.

 

What do you plan to do after graduation?

I plan on going to graduate school to further my studies in higher education and student affairs, then hopefully working towards impacting people’s lives at an college or university.

 

What do you remember most from your time in La Vida Scholars?

I am very grateful for my time at La Vida Scholars. What I remember most is being excited to visit schools with all of my classmates as well as all the friendships that I made.

 

What are some things you learned at La Vida Scholars that prepared you for college life, finances, and academics?

Some things I learned at La Vida Scholars that really positively impacted my transition into college was about utilizing the resourceful offices on campus. Without that motivation to look for the resources needed to have an easier transition, I would have had a way harder time my freshman year.

 

What are three words that come to mind when you think of La Vida Scholars?

Family. Success. Gratitude.

 

Anything exciting happening soon?

Next spring, I plan on studying abroad in Mendoza, Argentina. I am very excited to explore a new country!

This week, we reached out to one of our first LVS classes in an effort to capture the experiences of scholars who have not just graduated from our program, but also from college! Nahiomy Alvarez was part of the LVS Class of 2012 and was a winner of the 2012 QuestBridge National College Match Program, which awarded her a full four-year scholarship to her match school, Williams College, in Williamstown, MA.

 

Name

Nahiomy Alvarez

 

High School

Lynn Classical

 

Year of LVS Graduation

2012

 

College

Williams College

 

Major

Political Economy

 

Did you have any internships while in college?

My first internship in college was at a residential program for students with complex psychiatric, behavioral and/or developmental disorders at Hillcrest Education Center in Pittsfield, MA. Having the opportunity to work with children with tough upbringings was immensely meaningful and reinforced my belief in the importance of supporting vulnerable members of our communities.

 

What did you do after graduation?

Like many first-generation students I didn’t have a clear idea what I wanted to do after graduation – in part because the goal for years had been to get into college. Period. And so, for my first few years at Williams, I very intentionally considered all sorts of alternatives. Psychology? Hmm, I liked talking to and psychoanalyzing people. Law school? Why not, I liked arguing. A PhD? Sure, I loved school. A job in banking? Eh, could use the money.

 

Meanwhile, I was taking all these classes that inadvertently opened up my eyes to something I hadn’t really intentionally thought about all that much growing up. Even though I experienced it every day, I had never sat down to think and talk about America’s race and class issues. I suddenly had the privilege – the time and the resources – to sit down and learn about redlining, read The New Jim Crow, and write a capstone group thesis on mass incarceration and recidivism in the U.S. I thought, “Wow, I need to do something about this.” Eventually, my plan became to find a job where I could impact policy-making, find ways to bring more folks to the table, and infiltrate the boys club at the top – hence how I ended up looking for a job in D.C.

 

Where are you working now? What do you do?

After graduating last May (2016) I moved to D.C. for an Analyst position at a firm called Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS). HPS is a consulting firm founded on the idea that by providing a better understanding of issues we can influence and improve policy-making. My work consists of using a combination of analysis and communications to distill complex issues, explain these issues to target audiences, and persuade critical influencers. My day-to-day work involves working on all sorts of issues, including financial regulation, alternative energy, international development, early education, and tax policy.

 

What are some things you learned at La Vida Scholars that prepared you for college life, finances, and academics?

Writing. La Vida is where I wrote and refined my first real essays – which is insane. Writing all those essays, learning new SAT words, reading, etc., all that helped me develop the writing skills that I constantly need in my job and needed in college.

 

What are three words that come to mind when you think of La Vida Scholars?

Opportunity. Mentorship. Growth.

 

Anything you want to say to all the current La Vida Scholars?

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make use of ALL opportunities in front of you. Don’t waste those! Commit yourself to beating your best SAT score and then beat it. Commit yourself to writing the best possible scholarship essay and then write it. Commit yourself to learning something new every day and then learn it. I remember how non-urgent it seemed at the time, and fortunately it worked out, but time is money.

Welcome back to Alumni in Action! This week, we talked to Gisell Rodriguez, who graduated from our program in June of 2016. Gisell was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States when she was only two years old. Her high grades and deep commitment to community service got her accepted into many colleges, but Providence College saw something more and offered the four-year, full-ride St. Juan Macias Scholarship. She has just started her second semester of college, read below to find out how she’s doing!

 

Name:

Gisell Rodriguez

 

LVS Class:

2016

 

High School:

Lynn Classical High School

 

College:

Providence College

 

Have you declared a major?

No, I’m undecided. I initially thought I wanted to major in Engineering, but after taking a few classes, I changed my mind. I’m more interested in the Humanities now, specifically Sociology, but still haven’t officially declared.

 

What classes are you taking?

Public and Community Service, Women’s Studies, Sociology, Development of Western Civilization, and Common Disorders of Children.

 

What are some ways in which you’ve gotten involved on campus?

I’ve joined PIRC (Providence Immigrant Rights Coalition); in today’s political climate, I think it’s important to stand up for those who need our help. Being an immigrant myself, PIRC is a safe space for me in which I also learn ways to better educate others about immigration issues.

 

How have you dealt with living away from home?

The transition from home to dorm life has been relatively easy for me since I have been away from home before, although not for prolonged periods of time. I have a lot more freedom than I did back home, which is helping me become more independent.

 

What do you hope to get out of your college experience?

I hope to gain a life-changing experience that will help me grow as a person. I also hope to continue to meet many more great people.

 

What do you remember the most about coming to LVS every week?

I remember always looking forward to learning something new and seeing my friends. In addition to college prep, I learned a lot about self-care, time management, and money management. I definitely have a better understanding about finances, not just specific to college, but to everyday life.

Name:

Anna Martinez

 

LVS Class:

2015

 

High School:

Lynn English High School

 

College Currently Attending:

Barnard College at Columbia University

 

Major:

Spanish and Latin American Cultures with a minor in Economics

 

How did you decide on a major?

My first year of college I took an Introduction to Economic Theory class and fell in love. It was a type of math being applied to people, which to some sounds crazy, but it was so interesting to me (and still is). I just didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it; I didn’t want to go into corporate America.

 

My second semester, I watched a Ted Talk that changed my life. It was an Afro-Cuban woman who talked about her journey of only buying from Black businesses for a year; she was called racist and had actual hate mail written to her. She talked about money that leaves Black communities but never goes back into these communities, which lead to high crime rates, low unemployment, high gang activity, etc. I was fascinated.

 

I was then introduced to this new concept of Economic Injustice on a micro-economic level. At the same time, Dominican Republic was trying to kick out all the Haitians and darker-skinned Dominicans out of the country, and in America, the light-skin versus dark-skin women was a hot topic (and still is). I didn’t know exactly how I was supposed to relate all these new things I was experiencing and learning, go to a radical women’s college, and also receive an Ivy-League education; I was constantly being stunned by new information. Then it kind of just hit me one day: I wanted to focus on economic injustice in Latin American countries. I realized this while also realizing I want to become a lawyer in hopes of advocating for the underdogs.

 

Did you have any internships while in college?

Last summer, I was the Marketing and Communications Intern for The Alliance for Coney Island. For those who don’t know what Coney Island is, it is the second oldest amusement park and holds the first ever roller coaster. The history of the Island is fascinating. The Alliance handles all the free programming on the island – my job was to help with these events but also handle all the social media for the park. I also helped plan and execute the first ever Coney Island Busker Fest which was an amazing experience.

 

What do you plan to do after graduation?  

I’m a sophomore right now, but my plan is to take a gap year after graduation and travel. I hope to then go to Law School.

 

What do you remember the most from your time in La Vida Scholars?

The snacks! But seriously, I actually remember how close I got with the other scholars. Sometimes you just did not want to be there for two hours taking a practice SAT exam twice a week, but at least we had each other. We all knew we were going to get through it together.

 

What are some things you learned at La Vida Scholars that prepared you for college life, finances, and academics?

The college tours helped so much. I remember thinking, “Why am I up this early at a school I know I don’t want to go to?” I realized that by visiting those schools I learned exactly what I did and didn’t want in a college experience. I needed the city, but I wanted a small school campus feel. All those preferences came from those visits.

 

I remember Dave always having us visit the Multi-Cultural clubs/activities and offices on campus. He emphasized how important it was to have a support group on campus. I never understood that. I thought that I would just go to the best school that accepted me. It wasn’t until I got to school and I realized that I was literally the only person of color in some of my classes. It hit me that Dave was right; going to a predominantly white institution is already difficult, one needs to have a group of students of color you can vent, hang out, and study with.