Q: Tell us why you chose Winona State?

I did a program called HOPE Academy through our office of Equity and Inclusive Excellence the summer before my senior year of high school. We got to experience “college life” by attending classes taught by Winona State professors, lived in the dorms with people we had never met before, had a “graduation ceremony” where I gave a speech at. When it came to choosing a school for me senior year, I felt like I knew Winona State campus, staff, dorms, was comfortable and felt like I belonged here. After that it was a no brainer and I was zeroed in on Winona.

Q: What's been your favorite part of your Winona State experience?

It really is hard to choose between the people I’ve met along they way to the opportunities and experiences Winona has offered. However. I think my favorite part about Winona has been being apart of the Women’s rugby team. Rugby has been a mixture of all the things I love about Winona. Each year with new players joining and then seeing seniors graduate, being able to make those friendships that are going to last a lifetime. I even have had teammates come visit my family to El Salvador and learn more about my culture. I never thought I’d be an athlete again and decided to join and put myself out there. We took it day by day with a friend I had met who is one of best friends to this day and we ended up winning Nationals and since then have gone on from being D2 to D1. I became treasurer and eventually President my senior year which have only opened a world of opportunities and experiences for me. Rugby has helped me grow as an individual and I became a rugger thanks to WSU.

Q: What's the most important thing Winona State has taught you?

I have learned so much over the past 5 years, but the number one thing has been that I have a voice and I need to use it because there are too many people who don’t or can’t. In high school I was the shy quiet kid who sat in the back corner and had the same friend since kindergarten. I went to school just to graduate but I reflected and knew for college I wanted the experience. No friends from high school and in a new environment I pushed myself to attend events and make new friends which is exactly what I did. I joined Black Student Union, Student Organization for Latinos, Ambassadors, KEAP Council, Bible student group, and Rugby. My self-confidence, leadership skills and voice have all been nurtured here at WSU and has taught me to be the person I am today.

Q: Were there any challenges for you on your way to a degree?

My first challenge I had to say would be coming to the realization that I no longer wanted to be a nurse after 6+ years of planning on it. After acknowledging that I enjoyed my gen. eds more than nursing pre-requisites, Linda Waldo helped me come to terms with my sophomore year of being undecided also during a pandemic. Other challenges I faced would be lack of motivation, financial worries, and then my family constantly wanting me to transfer closer to home. In Latino families, leaving far from the family is not something you do and it was and continues to be something my family doesn’t understand. Having faculty members like Linda Waldo, Tyler Treptow-Bowman, Elizabeth Schwanke, Claudia Richard, Paul Stern to name some have collectively helped with all these challenges. They made me feel like I mattered and even if I might not believe in myself in that moment they do and to reward their effort the least I can do is graduate.

Q: What are your after-college plans?

As of right now planning on staying in town and would ultimately like to get into higher education. Otherwise being a flight attendant and traveling to get a break would also be nice.

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for future Warriors?

The resources and people who care are out there. You just got to meet them halfway and attend their events or visit their office.