by Damaris Sanchez
Hello. My name is Damaris Sanchez and I am a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University. I have known about the L.O.V.E program since I was a senior at NYU Steinhardt. I was a mentor in my spring semester, and from there I learned how to become a role model for young Latinas On the Verge of Excellence. We attended to different workshops on Fridays, as well, had speakers who were willing to share about their experiences of triumph to young Latinas. As a graduate student at Teachers College, I became part of a program called Coalition of Latino/a Scholars (CLS). As the Community and Cultural Chair, I decided to form a partnership with Claudia Espinosa to perform a panel discussion with a few of my CLS members to share our experiences getting into college and graduate school. We hoped to inspire the Latina youth to become active in their higher education and achieve their goals/dreams. We hope to conduct more panel discussions that will provide young Latinas access to college information and the overall college process in the near future.
The L.O.V.E. program has helped me grow as a person and it has encouraged me to stay connected to my culture in order to inspire other Latinas. This program motivated me to share my story and become that person who can positively influence other Latinas and show them that yes we can go to college, we can surpass challenges, and we can reach our dreams. Every step counts, and if I can share my story with a few Latinas, I know I did something for the next generation. I hope to continue my partnership with the program and to make a difference along the way.