Alumni spotlight

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Alumni spotlight story

Taking the Lead

Mariah forms part of the Class of 2014 at Erie Elementary. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. While fully embracing her interests, Mariah is making the most of her time in college and taking the lead in various areas of her college experience.

Mariah shares, “I am currently majoring in both Social Work and Latina/Latino Studies at UIUC- both are really important fields for me. I also hold two jobs on campus. I am a student staff at the cultural center, La CasaCultural Latina, and I am also a Multicultural Advocate with University Housing. I love working at both sites on campus, and although it may seem like a lot, I don’t really feel like I’m “working.” Being on my own has allowed me to explore my interests, and make new friendships outside of the classroom. I have met a lot of amazing people who have helped me grow into a better person everyday."

Erie Elementary Class of 2014

"Throughout the last year I have also learned what it means to be able to manage my time, prioritize the various areas of my life, and still have time for myself. Being on campus has allowed me to take on new challenges and opportunities, and make great connections. I have grown as a leader, and have found new interests that I am truly passionate about which include: social justice, activism and making change. I am thankful for all the experiences and work that have challenged me to get to where I am today."

"Lastly, there are some things that I have learned while being in college that I believe are important for students of any age to know: never be afraid to be who you are because you will attract friendships and people that you are meant to connect with, use your resources- you’ll be surprised to know who is willing to help you, take chances outside of your comfort zone and allow yourself to grow. Be a leader by choosing to be your true self and do not be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and what is right."

Erie Elementary teachers and staff fondly remember Mariah as a tenacious, resilient, courageous and ambitious student. We are so proud of Mariah’s accomplishments, and know this is only the beginning.

Read more Erie alumni spotlight stories