I cannot believe that I'm about to finish my third year of college! I thank you so much for your contributions which have made my experience at Goshen College possible. In just one more year I will be walking across a stage, reaching out for my college diploma, and the thought of it almost feels unreal. I arrived with my family as an immigrant, struggling to learn a new language and a new way of living. I had dreams of earning a college degree but always feared that I would never be able to afford it. With a lot of hard work and your support, I am now living that dream.
Financially, this has been a very difficult year for many. I attended the town hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana with President Barack Obama, and when he talked about the many students who have had to put their college acceptance letters back into the envelopes due to the economic crisis, all I could think of was of how grateful I was for your support. Knowing that I have been in your thoughts, especially during these hard economic times, means a lot to me.
This year I was officially admitted into the Social Work Education program at Goshen College and I truly believe that I have made the right career choice. I am part of the steering committee for SWAA (Social Work Action Association). Through this organization I have been working at getting the social work students to visit the Elkhart women's shelter to engage in conversation with the residents and staff members. This is a good way for us to gain a richer understanding on how to serve the survivors of abuse.
I'm really grateful for the cultural diversity of the institution and the gifts that come along with it. As a member of the steering committee of the Latino Student Union and through my work with the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning (CITL) office, I have found ways to interact with other Latinos(as) in Goshen College. Due to my involvement in the International Student Club (ISC), in May I was presented with the Giving Something Back award at this year's ISC Coffeehouse. And as part of my Women Studies minor, I have been able to study a lot of Latina/Mujerista theology which I have found to be very interesting and useful.
This summer I am very excited about working with my fellow GC student, Daniela Zehr and my pastor, Nina Lanctot, in collecting stories of local women. We are producing River Country Monologues, to be performed Sunday evening, August 23rd at Trinity Episcopal Church in Three Rivers. This is one more opportunity to support women and the culture of safety and empowerment in our community. If you are able, come and join us!
I am making the most I can out of my last few semesters at Goshen College. I am enjoying each and everyday leading up to graduation day. It is due to your support that I am able to imagine myself walking across that stage. I have you to thank for my education and for the future ahead of me. Attending college would have been only a fantasy had it not been for your contributions.