Since my sophomore year of high school, I have been drawn to the discipline of architecture. This passion led me to the University of Illinois, where I immersed myself in a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, laying the foundation for my journey as an architect.  

The Discover Architecture program at Illinois, which I attended during my junior year of high school, offered a unique studio-based approach that solidified my commitment to the field. Supported by the Stamps Scholarship, I pursued a degree in architecture, preparing me for both undergraduate and future master's studies. 

During my time on campus, I engaged extensively in various organizations and programs, including serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Ricker Report, the School of Architecture's student-run publication. This role provided invaluable leadership experience and helped me refine my architectural interests. Additionally, working within the architecture department allowed me to contribute to faculty searches, curriculum development, and research initiatives. 

Director Francisco Rodriguez Suarez, Professor Sara Bartumeus, and Professor Joseph Altshuler were pivotal figures who shaped my university experience. Their mentorship and support empowered me to explore my interests in competitions, research, and urban-scale architecture. Director Rodriguez's lecture series brought renowned architects like Sumayya Vally and Germane Barnes to campus, exposing students to diverse perspectives and contemporary designers in architecture. 

Participation in honors programs such as the Stamps Scholarship, Chancellor’s Honors Program, and James Scholar Program facilitated interdisciplinary collaboration and enriched my educational experience. These programs enabled me to take unique honors classes and fostered close connections with professors and peers. 

Currently pursuing a ’Master of Architecture degree at Princeton University, I'm grateful for the strong technical foundation and integral design tools I gained at Illinois. While Illinois provided connections to the Chicago architecture scene, Princeton offers exposure to the dynamic architecture landscape of New York. 

My goal is to become a licensed architect and make meaningful contributions to the field. I have come to define architecture in a broad sense, focusing on interdisciplinary collaborations and transcalar design methodologies. Whether designing future museums or exploring alternative architectural solutions, I am committed to finding critical approaches to meet community needs. 

To current students, I encourage seizing every opportunity to explore beyond the bounds of your major. Step outside your comfort zone, take classes outside of your department, and engage in extracurricular activities to broaden your interests. Do not hesitate to reach out to professors and mentors for guidance and support—they can play a crucial role in nurturing your interests and shaping your academic journey. Embrace this journey, and remember that every experience, challenge, or connection has the potential to contribute to your development as a scholar and professional.