By Melissa Vazquez, Former Fellow
It is hard to believe that three years ago, I was getting ready to walk across a stage to receive my high school diploma. I remember sitting in my room the night before high school graduation, unable to put into words what I was feeling. Not only was I going to be the first in my family to walk across the stage, but also, I was the first to attend a four year university. Not any university, but my dream school – Loyola University Chicago. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, which up to that time had been my main support system. I remember thinking, “I did it, we did it.” I also remember being excited about moving to a new city and starting the next chapter in my life. But I was also very frightened, although I refused to admit that to anyone. By venturing off to new grounds away from the support my family provided, I assumed I would be on my own. But that wasn’t the case at all. I was blessed enough to receive the opportunity to be a Fellow in LAW SCHOOL … Yes We Can.
I was one of those students who came into college undecided and I changed my major about fifty times. I just couldn’t figure out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. With the help of LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede I found my calling and I was able to see myself going to law school and becoming a lawyer. I am very grateful for everyone involved in LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede. They definitely go out of their way to make sure every student in the program has the same opportunities, including out-of-state students. I have been able to participate in every workshop through a LiveStream. The quality of the connection is always superb, and there is always someone whom I can contact during the workshop that will ask the speaker a question for me. It’s almost as if I was there in person. They are very attentive and have made every workshop very feasible and informative. I don’t feel like I lose anything from being an out-of-state Fellow. Even though I am in a different city, my mentors are very easy to reach. They have always been there for me when I have any questions or concerns, and they have been very supportive throughout this partnership. They have given me advice that I was unable to find elsewhere, and they always receive me with open arms when I am back in Denver during the holidays. Whenever I express an interest in a specific field, they put me in touch with others who can meet with me to share their experiences.
Now, as I sit here with only a year left until I cross another stage and receive my degree, I look back at these past three years and I can honestly say that LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede has helped me grow into the person I am today. Thanks to this program, I am adamant about pursuing a career in law one day. The mentoring, knowledge, and resources that I have received from LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede have helped me more than the other mentorship programs I have on campus at Loyola. And for that, I am extremely grateful.