College: Old Westbury College (transferred from Queensborough Community College)
NYNY Internships: La Fuente (Long Island Civic Participation Project) and Uncommon Schools
My name is Karen. I am the eldest of three children, and I will be the first in my family to graduate from college. Raised in a strict household, my parents strongly emphasized the importance of education, especially because it was not provided for them. My father was born in the mountains of El Salvador where college did not exist. In his town, people tended to their farms - that was how families made their money. Growing up we didn’t have much, and my parents worked extremely hard to get where we are now. I was never jealous of others because seeing my parents’ dedication to their work made me proud. Because I watched my parents struggle financially, I was motivated to work hard myself so that I could in turn provide a good life for them.
My professional goal is to work in Education and Psychology. I plan to start a non-profit organization that will motivate teens from low-income families. Adolescents often find themselves lost in discouragement and confusion about their futures - I will open their eyes to all that life can offer. This organization is one of my personal goals because I am passionate about helping people and want to make a difference in the lives of others.
Being an NYNY Fellow is extremely important to me; it is a blessing. I have learned so much during the past sessions that has motivated me to achieve. The Mentors are absolutely inspiring and constantly open my eyes to countless new ideas. Instead of dreaming about my goals, I am taking action to accomplish them, and I hope to one day have the same impact on others as the NYNY Mentors have had on me.