I was born in Bogota, Colombia, but grew up in Miami, Florida. I come from a close-knit Hispanic family, who wanted me to stay in-state for university. But I knew that there was so much of the world that I hadn't seen, and I believed NYU could offer me the opportunity to explore that world. (I was right.)
I started my journey with Liberal Studies’ First Year Away program at NYU’s beautiful campus in Florence, Italy. That year was a huge transition for me as I went out of my comfort zone, moved to a new country, immersed myself in the culture, and began learning Italian. By the end of the year, I had fallen in love with everything Italian and decided to return my sophomore year for the Fall Away Program. I became interested in the topic of immigration into Italy, which would eventually become the topic of my senior thesis.
I chose Global Liberal Studies as my major (with a concentration in Politics, Rights and Development) because it gave me the flexibility to explore various academic interests, while allowing me to continue my research on immigration and the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. As part of the program, students study away for the entire junior year, and I used that opportunity to return to Florence and complete field research. The great thing about researching abroad is that you have access to resources—one-on-one interviews, local libraries, experts—that you might not have in the States.
At NYU, I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible opportunities, including working with La Pietra Dialogues in Florence, where I organized and moderated two dialogues on the refugee crisis. Additionally, I participated in a University Leadership Honors Course taught by NYU’s Chief of Staff, and served as a Global Site Ambassador for the Office of Global Programs.
My entire NYU experience was incredible. Throughout my time in both New York City and Florence, I developed the critical thinking skills, ability to adapt, and confidence to explore the world outside my surroundings. Everything I learned prepared me for the next chapter after college, which began with working for the Mayor of New York City at the time, Bill de Blasio, and his wife Chirlane McCray.