What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For me, I think true happiness is when people eradicate the idea of flawless perfection and support the idea of perfection in flaws. Once we understand that everyone is different and nobody is perfect, I fell society will stop being so judgmental and thrive in its diversity. Accept the people that you love for what they are and stop trying to change them. That’s how you reach true happiness.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is not reaching my full potential. I’m afraid my mistakes might teach me learned helplessness and I will slowly fulfill the negative stereotypes that have been predetermined for me way before my birth. But I definitely don’t let my fear take hold of my life. I let my fear motive me to always do better and strive for greatness. My fear is one of my biggest motivators, second only to my mother and father.
What trait do you like least about yourself?
Frankly, I could be quite possibly be the most stubborn, knuckle-headed student at Indiana State University. I like doing things my way, and if I can’t, I get extremely flustered. And Lord forbid someone tell me I can’t do something, because I’ll turn right around and prove them wrong. If my friend tells me I can’t wear white after Labor Day, guess who will be wearing a starch, white outfit the next day? If the professor tells the class that we can’t write our 10-page essay the night before its due, guess who will be pulling an all-nighter? It’s just in my nature to be difficult, even though I usually create more work for myself in the end!
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Living in a biracial household, my mother and father made it a point to teach their children about important figures in both the African American and Puerto Rican communities. I can spout off facts about important Hispanic political leaders, courageous civil rights activist, minority trailblazers in media and so on, thanks to my parents.
But one important figure that always made me feel important and empowered was Maya Angelo. Her poems always touched home with me even though I was young when I was first introduced to her work. My mother used to randomly quote her poems when she worked around the house. “I am women, phenomenally,” she would announce whenever she overcame a challenge.
I watched my father incorporated her elegant poems into his lessons plans, and I can admit I was jealous that his class got to work with Maya Angelou’s greatest pieces while I had to learn about the Revolutionary War. Nevertheless, Maya Angelou is a fine example of intellectual beauty, spiritual strength and humble sophistication for myself as young Afro-Latin female.
Who is someone you’ve met at Indiana State you’ll remember the rest of your life?
I’ve met a lot of beautiful people at Indiana State. I think the most unforgettable person I’ve been blessed to meet is Mrs. Robin Thoma, my Special Education 226 class. She shows so much passion for the special education field and offers a wealth of experience for all her students. She works to advocate for the students that our society often forget about. I didn’t realized that special education extends from the deaf and hearing impaired all the way to the gifted and talented. She’s crushed all of my negative, preconceived notices about special education and replaced them with affection and understanding. And as a result, she’s the one who unknowing pushed me to want to get a minor in special education. People often say it takes a special kind of person to teach special education and Mrs. Thoma is definitely that person.
Which talent would you most like to have?
If I could have any talent in the world, I would want to be able to remember the names and faces of every person I meet. I’m definitely a people person, but ironically, I just can’t remember people’s names or faces for the life of me! Someone can introduce themselves to me and five minutes later, I won’t be able to even remember the beginning letter of their name. Other times, I simply can’t place a face with a name. If I could remember the names and faces of the people I came into contact with, I could create so many more networks for myself. Not to mention eliminating any awkward situation I often crate by forgetting who I am talking too!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Honestly, I feel being accepted into Indiana State University is my biggest achievement so far. My parents prepared me for college way before many kids even knew what college was. It was a long-term goal I have been working to achieve since I stepped into my kindergarten class 14 years ago. I wanted to make my parents proud and prove to myself that I really could do it. I didn’t just set out to simply make it into college, but to flourish in college. I am doing just them. I’m flourishing as a person and blooming into a better version of myself.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I think I would want to come back as an African elephant. I love how elephant herds are ran by a strong matriarch. In the human world, I think too many women see other women as completion or are envious of other women because society has taught us to be that way. Elephants work in a team and hold their elders in high respect. I would love to be a part of such an intelligent, powerful and beautiful group of animals.
What do people notice first about you?
I think people notice my curly hair before they notice anything! The funny part is back in high school, I had thick, curly brown hair all down my back. Right before senior year, I literally chopped it all off until I had about an inch left of length. At first so many people, even my family, were in dismay that I had cut off my “long flowing hair,” but I felt relieved. Liberated even. It felt that people associated my hair and physical beauty with my personal character. I wanted to be seen for my actions and achievements, not because I had hair on my head.
What does BLUE mean to you?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, blue is “a color intermediate between green and violet, as of the sky or sea on a sunny day.” To me, BLUE is what I have been academically and socially searching for. BLUE is community and a place to celebrate unity in our differences. BLUE is a push in to right direction and spark of inspiration. Most importantly, BLUE is an activist for self-growth and a blessing to have in my life.