Activities: Psi Sigma Phi Multicultural Fraternity, Inc.; Rutgers Future Scholars Program; First Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS)
What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
Coming from South Jersey, my high school was not very diverse. Initially, I did not want to go to Rutgers because I thought it would be another four years of high school all over again. However, when I came to New Brunswick for the campus tour, this changed. It helped that I received a merit scholarship and my mom encouraged (forced) me to enroll. However, it was one of the best decisions of my life. It wasn't until my sophomore year that I became part of the SAS Honors Program. I was attracted to the Honors seminars that were offered as well as the contact with faculty.
Why did you choose your major and minor?
Coming into Rutgers, I knew that I wanted to major in Political Science and a Spanish. I was very interested in international relations and enjoyed learning about how much the world had to offer. When I picked my classes, I registered for a Spanish class and Portuguese for Spanish speakers as an alternate. When I received my schedule, I ended up getting both and contemplated dropping the Portuguese class. However, once I was a few weeks in, I fell in love with the language and the cultures that it allowed me to explore.
Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where do you live?
I am currently living in Charlotte, North Carolina - trying to get away from the winter / cold weather. I am currently in my first year of teaching high school Spanish through Teach for America. Being a teacher is one of the most demanding, yet rewarding jobs that someone can have. The kids always keep things interesting and its great to be able to learn from them as well.
What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated Rutgers?
Instead of immediately going away for training for Teach for America shortly after graduating, I was able to defer that for two years. During that time I had the opportunity to teach English at Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC) in northeastern Brazil. From the time that I was there, February - November 2014, I experienced Carnaval, the World Cup and presidential elections. By living abroad, you gain appreciation for other cultures as well as learning much about your own.
Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
Prior to coming to Rutgers, I never saw myself as a teacher. However, through working with the Rutgers Future Scholars program and as a peer instructor of a First Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS), I began to develop an interest in education. As a mentor in RFS, I worked with high school students in New Brunswick to help them succeed in high school to help them become future Scarlet Knights. As a FIGS instructor, I had the chance to teach a 10 week course for first year students that would help them become acclimated to Rutgers and to college life in general.
What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors Program?
Engaging. Activating. Memorable.
How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
As a Rutgers and SAS alumni, I feel very well prepared to enter the real world. The perks of going to such a large and diverse school are numerous, but I appreciate the access that I had to so many different resources on campus. It truly fostered students to grow and explore many different areas where they excelled.
What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
As members of the SAS program at Rutgers, take advantage of every opportunity that you can. You never know what it could lead to. Explore everything that the program and the university have to offer, the possibilities are endless!