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This summer, I traveled to Nicaragua with 21 other strangers for 2 weeks, and built a school in Haiti. I took part in these activities because I wanted to replicate the feelings I had in Coro. As I go through college (hopefully) and become a teacher, I want to expose all my students to programs like Coro, or anything that interests them. I want them to know that there are opportunities out there, and I’ll be there the whole way to help them.

How did your Coro experience prepare you for your current academic path?

In the future, I want to become a high-school teacher and give back to my community through education. My experience in Coro was the first time I ever took part in an activity outside of school, and it was nothing short of amazing. From the other fellows to the trainers, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Public speaking, networking, interviews, bonding—to name a few things we did over the program. Because of Coro, I came into my junior year with the goal of doing more activities, hoping to meet more people and just take advantage of what’s left of high school. This summer, I traveled to Nicaragua with 21 other strangers for 2 weeks, and built a school in Haiti. I took part in these activities because I wanted to replicate the feelings I had in Coro. As I go through college (hopefully) and become a teacher, I want to expose all my students to programs like Coro, or anything that interests them. I want them to know that there are opportunities out there, and I’ll be there the whole way to help them.

What were some highlights from your Coro experience?

Our first project of the program was a logic study of Oakland. We were to go out in the community and find out about the issues in our community, and present back about our findings. To be honest, even though I had lived in Oakland for the majority of my life, I didn’t really see it as my home; I didn’t know the place. However, during our project and exploring the community, I was able to see what Oakland is: a beautiful, diverse, fun-loving community. I started to love the feeling of being out in the city and walking, just breathing the air and seeing my community. I love Oakland, there’s no other way to put, and I’m so grateful for my time in Coro, as it gave me the long overdue introduction to my city, Oakland.

If you could go back and give advice to your pre-Coro self, what would you say?

If I could go back and tell my pre-Coro self something, I would tell him nothing. Every person has their own story that makes them unique; and I wouldn’t change mine for the world. Coro was the first thing I did outside of school, the first time I spoke in front of a crowd, the first time I wrote a grant, the first time I conducted interviews, and the first time I stepped out of my comfort zone. Every experience was a learning experience, and it was new and thrilling every time. After Coro, I started to get involved in more clubs, started doing more community service, and got the opportunities to travel to Nicaragua and Haiti. The way everything worked out was because I didn’t really know much before Coro, and I learned it through the process. You could say, Coro was the spark to the fire that resides in me now. I wouldn’t trade my experience and story for anything, and I can’t wait for what’s to come next in my life.

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