1. What motivated you to apply for the Romero Scholarship?
I heard about the Oscar Romero Scholarship through various significant people in my life. The first was Prof. Marina McCoy, who taught my PULSE class and advised me when I was merely a sophomore to apply for this scholarship because she thought I would be a great candidate. Then, candidates who had applied years before motivated to apply as well. However, and foremost importantly, when I started to talk about the scholarship, my mother was the one who encouraged me the most. It was through her support that I found the courage to believe and myself and to send in an application. Additionally, it was also the great mission of Oscar Romero that inspired me to overcome any obstacles. I remember how his sermons encouraged me to try to my best and give my all no matter the outcome.
2. What was the most memorable question from the interview and how did you respond?
One of the most memorable question was when they asked me how I saw Romero’s mission carried out through my accomplishments and how I differed from him in the way I carry out my own mission. I responded by reflecting on what I had been involved and conveying what I wanted to accomplish with my work. Such that, I remember saying that I tried to carry out Romero’s view of justice and equity through all by being engaged in the Latinx community found at the St. Ignatius Parish, by working with the Organization of Latin American Affairs, and by being involved in service work at the Campus School. And so, even though my end goal and Romero’s goal is one of love and solidarity towards all, we do differ in the struggles we have faced and in the means we have to fight our battles. However, I find comfort in our differences because if he accomplished all he did despite being threatened of death and torture, I too can participate and propagate change in the state that I am in.
3. How did you feel when you heard your name called as the award winner?
I was shocked at first, filled with an inexplicable amount of emotion. But instantly, as my mother embraced me and cried with me, I felt at peace, at home, and more so, eternally grateful. There are no words to describe how grateful I am to my parents, my sisters, my whole family, my professors, friends, and everyone who stood by me and supported me throughout this journey.
4. What do you feel is your biggest responsibility as the Romero Scholarship recipient of 2019?
As the recipient of the Romero Scholarship, my biggest responsibility was to be a voice for my Latin American brothers and sisters. More so, it has been to stand up for injustices and the civil unrest that so many of us have been subjected to, to be a beacon of strength and power for those who feel defeated, and to carry on the Catholic mission of loving God, sustaining the preferential option for the poor and those in need, and to live in love and solidarity with our neighbors.
5. What would you say to students who are thinking of applying next year?
I would say this, “El peor intento es el que no se hace,” which translates to “the worst intent is that which you don’t make.” So, don’t hesitate! Go for it. You have nothing to loose and so much to gain from this reflective process. Best of luck. Tú puedes.