What is your most enduring memory of your time at Yale?
My most enduring memory of my time at Yale is undeniably the commencement ceremony. This culminating event not only celebrated our academic achievements but also crystallized the honor, privilege, and responsibility that come with being part of an esteemed institution like Yale. Standing amidst the sea of graduates, it became evident that we were not only recipients of a world-class education but also stewards of change, equipped with the platform to enact meaningful transformations in line with Yale School of Nursing's resolute mission of advancing better health for all people.
The journey leading up to this pivotal moment was a testament to the indomitable spirit that defines the Yale community. I recall our Yale School of Nursing cohort starting our healthcare journey at Yale at the height of the pandemic, and the uncertainty that loomed was palpable. However, fueled by the unwavering commitment to "better health for all" and an unyielding belief in the power of unity encapsulated by the saying "we're all in this together," we embarked on our educational journey. The early days were marked by virtual connections that couldn't replicate the depth of in-person interactions, even within the confines of the same city. Yet, despite the prevailing fear and ambiguity, a collective sense of purpose emerged. We recognized that our shared goal of improving health outcomes for all transcended the challenges and uncertainties that enveloped us.
And then, at commencement, that shared commitment reached its zenith. As we came together physically to celebrate our accomplishments, it was as if all the virtual connections and shared aspirations coalesced into a tangible reality. The ceremony was a testament to the resilience and dedication that had driven us throughout our Yale journey. It served as a poignant reminder that even amid adversity, our collective pursuit of better health for all people was a guiding force that could bring us together in person, allowing us to reflect on our shared mission and envision the impact we could collectively make in the world.
How has your identity shaped your Yale experience?
As a first-generation college student and Colombian American, my journey at Yale was imbued with a unique blend of cultural pride and the drive to break new ground. These aspects of my identity shaped my experience, infusing every step with a deep appreciation for my heritage and a determination to pave the way for future generations. My previous experience working with and in the public education system has shown me how underserved the Latinx community with mental healthcare needs is. Choosing Yale was a deliberate decision driven by the recognition that its esteemed platform could amplify my efforts to empower Latinx children and their families with equitable access to quality mental healthcare. I have found it my life’s mission to offer compassionate and effective mental health care to these individuals and provide families with guidance in understanding their mental health journeys. The combination of my background and Yale's resources fueled my passion for bridging gaps and fostering inclusivity and equal opportunities for those seeking access to quality mental healthcare.
What is your hope for the future of the Yale alumni community?
My hope for the future of the Yale Alumni community is that we unite with a shared purpose: to leave an indelible mark on the world, making it better than we found it. Despite our diverse backgrounds and perspectives, I envision a collective commitment to collaboration, recognizing that our strength lies in our unity. Let's engrain the idea that the well-being of any individual, anywhere, resonates universally, and by nurturing this mindset, we can forge a legacy that transcends boundaries, echoing the sentiment that the health of one is intricately tied to the health of all.
What advice would you give to fellow or future Yalies?
To my fellow and future Yalies, I encourage you to embrace the present fully, seize every opportunity, and make the most of your time here. Strive to surpass your own achievements each day, growing personally and academically. And always hold onto the fact that life is a gift, filled with possibilities and joys waiting to be discovered.