The reality of graduation is only a few weeks away. Part of me doesn’t feel like it’s that close as I continue to work through presentations and papers. It’s not until I’m scheduling my assignments in my planner that the amount of days we have left really hits me. In a few days I will wrap up my internship at McMinnville Habitat for Humanity. Working for Mac Habitat has been a great opportunity to learn about the structures and operations of the service nonprofit sector. I hope to work with an international NGO someday so my time at Habitat has helped me get a better idea of what that industry may look like. My favorite part of the experience has been working with families and hearing the ways in which the new homes strengthen not just their families but the McMinnville community as a whole.
Many of the groups I’m involved with on campus are also coming to a close. In our M.E.Ch.A Club we have recently voted in our new officers for next year. Seeing this group grow over the last four years has been such a gift. When another student and I talked about starting the club my freshman year we had no idea its membership would grow so quickly and that its impact on the campus community would be so positive. I have been truly impressed by my peer’s leadership and commitment. Another group that has created incredible impact on our students is my family away from home, the Linfield College Latinos Adelante group. This group has built strong relationships among our students. It gives us the comfort and courage to succeed at Linfield and I know had it not been for my LCLA family, many of the countless memories I cherish would not have been possible.
Saying goodbye to these two groups will be very difficult. Being a part of these two groups has given me some of my fondest memories from planning Hispanic Heritage Day to volunteering at Mac High for Latino Parent Nights. No matter what we were doing it was always a blast. I will really miss them. Another source of my favorite memories comes from my time abroad. Traveling to England and Costa Rica, I can honestly say, changed my perspective on the world. I opened my eyes to the beautifully complex diversity that is out there and I hope to dedicate much of my future to learning more about it through service. My time after Linfield will be one more step toward this goal.
After graduation I will remain on campus for one more Upward Bound Summer. This will be my fourth summer as a tutor counselor and I am so thankful to get to be a part of summer 2013. Upward Bound changes student’s lives allowing them to see beyond their circumstances to the great potential of what they can accomplish. It goes beyond teaching curriculum to teaching character, confidence and integrity. I am so proud to have been part of this UB family over the years as it has also taught me a great deal and challenged my leadership in many ways. After this Upward Bound summer I will be attending graduate school for a master’s in international development and service. With this degree I hope to work with an international service or relief centered organization to strengthen communities nationally and internationally as well. However first comes first, before I get excited about all that, I have to stay focused on finishing strong academically and appreciating every moment and opportunity I have left with my fellow wildcats. We are almost there!