Having grown up in the urbanized setting that is New York City, tension existed between the endless possibilities of the world beyond my home and the beliefs upon which I was raised. From a young age, I was taught that I should obtain a job right after completing high school. However, despite my upbringing, my interest in learning and the sense of belief in my ability to succeed led to my enrollment at York College at the City University of New York.
Despite my innate desire to do well in life and succeed in higher education, I initially found it difficult to navigate through college. During my first few days, I did not know how to register for classes. Nor was I able to format coherent sentences or express my thoughts effectively when writing an essay. Thankfully, one day, I came across the TRIO Student Support Services program. A program that helps first-generation students graduate college, the same program that would one day foster my development and transform me into a better person.
As a result of the services provided by the TRIO program (i.e., tutoring and academic coaching) I turned my academic weaknesses into strengths. This growth would lead me to winning various scholarships and fellowships. For instances, during the summer of 2015, I was awarded a research fellowship at Yale University that covered my living expenses and funding to conduct an experiment. When the experiment was over, I presented my findings at a national conference.
Currently, I'm a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, a fellowship that is dedicated to turning people into exceptional teacher. I plan on using the many life lessons I learned from the TRIO program to help inspire and teach. With the upmost confidence, I am able to say that the TRIO program has not only enriched my life, but also all of the program participants that are a part of the TRIO family.