Hailing from Chicago but finding inspiration in a boarding school in Massachusetts, my journey to the University of Illinois was influenced by a passion for education and diversity. Led by the guidance of a remarkable diversity director and inspired by the welcoming campus atmosphere, I pursued a major in education studies and a minor in Latino/a studies. 

Campus life at U of I was vibrant and inclusive, offering a multitude of opportunities for engagement. From serving on the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Board to being involved with the Evans Scholarship house and finding solace in the Latin American cultural house, La Casa, I found a sense of belonging and purpose within the campus community. 

Exceptional professors like Dr. Angel Garcia and Dr. Angharad Valdivia shaped my academic journey, fostering my interests in poetry, creative writing, and Latino studies. Their mentorship not only deepened my academic understanding but also helped me prepare for graduate school, igniting a passion for unconventional teaching methods and museum education. 

While museums had always intrigued me with their interactive storytelling, I found my niche in education outside the traditional classroom setting. Through firsthand experiences in observing and assisting at schools, I discovered my affinity for non-classroom teaching environments, influencing my coursework and career aspirations. 

My current position at Spurlock Museum allows me to blend my passion for education with museum curation, creating exhibits and programs that resonate with diverse audiences. Engaging in research on Mexican banknotes and designing exhibits has been both fulfilling and enriching, thanks to the supportive environment and collaboration with my colleagues. 

Driven by a commitment to social justice and representation, I was recently accepted to the University of Illinois: Chicago to pursue graduate studies in Museum Studies. My senior thesis on queer representation within the Latino art community underscores my dedication to amplifying marginalized voices. I aim to explore the impact of museums on society and contribute to more inclusive narratives in the museum space. 

Reflecting on my undergraduate experience, I recognize the invaluable role of networking and campus involvement in shaping my trajectory. Interacting with diverse perspectives and overcoming challenges has not only enriched my beliefs but also equipped me with essential communication skills. 

To incoming students, I encourage active engagement with campus life and seizing opportunities for growth. Embrace the journey, for it is in the challenges and experiences that you'll discover your path and passion. As I embark on the next chapter of my educational journey, I am filled with excitement for the possibilities ahead, fueled by the lessons learned and connections made at U of I.