Building Confidence

By Carolina Luna Casas — Fellow, Loyola University – Chicago

I have had many experiences through LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede and they have all been very impactful.  One experience that really resonated with me was when I met with Judge Arguello and LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede board member, Paula Black, during my spring break.  These two women, who are certainly busy at all times, took time out of their busy schedule to meet with me.  We met at a coffee shop and had a great conversation about business, politics, LSSSP, etc., but the best part about the conversation was that, no matter what we talked about, they always made me feel as if I were at their level.  They respected my input and treated me as if I were as accomplished as they are.  Their actions helped instill a confidence within me, which is not often done by many adults.  Knowing that the people you respect also respect you is a great confidence booster.

Not only did they help me build my confidence, but also, they inspired me to continue working to accomplish my dreams.   Judge Arguello did this when she said something along the lines of, “Fifty years ago we would not be able to be where we are now.  Many people forget the difficulty women had to go through to change the social acceptance of career women, especially for Latinas.”  Judge Arguello and Paula Black were able to break the barriers that stopped Latinas from succeeding professionally.  They are accomplished and have amazing reputations.  But they do not stop there; they give students like me, who face obstacles such as being first generation college students, the tools we need to succeed.  They pushed through social barriers and now they are paying it forward to help us break those barriers.

I would have never thought that a young college freshman could have such an insightful conversation with two very strong and successful women.  I was so filled with joy afterward that I shared the experience with my mom.  My mom said to me that she was so proud of me for surrounding myself with people that do whatever they can to help me succeed.  That was when it clicked.  LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede is not just a mentoring program that describes what we must do to get into Law School.  It is much more than that.  It is a community of that pushes us, to be insightful, attentive, and passionate about life and our goals no matter what barriers may appear.  It is a community of professionals who truly respect and care for our well being.  I am incredibly grateful for the program and look forward to growing as a member of that community.