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College Beat

Striving for Excellence.

By Ashley Gabrielle Guevara,
St. Edward’s University, 2019.

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Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, I was raised family oriented and proud of who I was. Being the middle child, third of six children, I always knew I wanted to stand out and make my family proud. When choosing a middle school, I immediately wanted to follow in the footsteps of my older sister to whom I looked up to. I decided on Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, a middle-high school and the first public all-girls school in the state of Texas. I didn’t know it then, but these decisions changed my life for the better.

During the seven years I attended, my classmates became my sisters. They empowered and supported me in the classroom and beyond. One of the best memories while in high school was participating in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) which helped me find my inner confidence as a leader. Every LULAC conference I attended was an empowering experience. They helped me understand what it meant to be a second generation Mexican-American Latina living in today’s society. This broader scope helped fuel my desire to do more for myself and my community.

My LULAC council sponsor and beloved AP Spanish teacher emailed me one day with information on the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassador’s Program. The program is aimed toward graduating high school seniors focused in the arts, sciences, and humanities throughout the country. Intimidated by failure, I waited until the last minute before hitting submit. Yet the time I spent writing essays, recording a video, and scrambling for recommendations, paid off. Finding out I was selected to the program made me believe in my ability.

As part of the program I became an intern at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, where I gave science demonstrations and obtained perspectives on museum logistics. This internship helped me stay motivated as I began my first year at a university in a new city away from home.

I selected St. Edward’s University because while in high school, our college bound advisor would work tirelessly, ensuring that the universities my class decided to attend, were a good fit. She would often emphasize “the family goes to college” and it always reminded me that although I’m in school to better myself, I do this for my family as well.

2015 cohort of Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program at the Smithsonian Cultural Resources Center in Washington D.C. (6th from left). June 2015.

2015 cohort of Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program at the Smithsonian Cultural Resources Center in Washington D.C. (6th from left). June 2015.

Ashley (3rd from right)  with high school friends on high school graduation day. May 2015.

Ashley (3rd from right) with high school friends on high school graduation day. May 2015.

At the close of my first year, I became a support staff/mentor for the Young Ambassadors Program for the incoming cohort in the summer. I also wanted to get experience in the field of Business Marketing and received an internship opportunity with LATINA Style, Inc. Doing my best and always having an eager attitude to learn helped me understand more about the “business world.” My supervisor would ensure I understood business jargon, as well as ensure I understood what my assignments asked of me. I felt comfortable asking questions and learned about the work that goes into the magazine. Being able to work for this company opened my eyes beyond textbook pages.

Back on the Hilltop, I am confident and motivated for another year of enrichment and adventure. I intend on studying abroad in the near future and attaining a higher degree. My dream is to open a venue and give artists, musicians, performers, and actors a space to present their work. Because of my interest in the arts, my parents told me to find a way to support what I love. I will always continue to see myself as an example—an educated role model that contributes back to the community that raised her.

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