Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
Junior year, I was elected Vice President of the Puente Club, and I led the Academic Outreach Committee. This gave me the chance to support the new Puentistas, as the older Puentistas had supported me. I formed study groups for the PSAT, SAT, and AP exams; in addition, I organized an academic tutorial phone tree, by core classes, to connect underclassmen who needed support with upperclassmen who had experienced academic success.
Sadly, less than 10% of the graduates at my high school go straight to a university. Many students are falling through the cracks; I am fortunate to be a part of a TRIO program; however, many of the students at my high school were not privy to these resources. I felt it was unfair that my peers- some of my closest friends- were not receiving access to the same information.
My experience in Puente has inspired me to expand academic outreach to marginalized students. One of my friends, an AVID student, and I founded the Young Scholars of Salinas club, shortened to Young SOS, an acronym that often is recognized as a cry for help, save our souls. The purpose was to share college going strategies with the students, who were not in college readiness programs. This club extended the same services as the Puente Club; in addition, I helped to organize a Southern California college trip, so that our peers would have the chance to receive a tour of a college campus. As a young Black girl who has spent her entire life being the minority, constantly adjusting and adapting, I know what it is like to feel unsupported, but I also know what it feels like to finally find a space where you belong; I found that space in Puente, and I tried to create that space in Young SOS. Through the Young SOS club, my independent success is negated if my peers are not experiencing success. I learned that college preparation needs to start early and that those with access to information are charged with sharing what they know with others in their community.Published in