Carmen Vazquez, a Onward We Learn alumna, is one of three high school advisors who joined the Onward We Learn this fall. She is a graduate of the Met School and Rhode Island College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in youth development and is the advisor at Cranston High School East.
1. What was your favorite program as a Onward We Learnr?
My favorite program as a Onward We Learnr was Life Skills Cru Club!
2. What made you decide to join the Onward We Learn after you graduated?
I decided to join the Onward We Learn because I have a passion for working with young people. Being able to mentor and guide youth in a direction toward success, self-advocacy and positivity is my ultimate goal.
3. What has been the most challenging part about starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic?
The most challenging part is not being to have face-to-face social interaction with my students or colleagues.
4. What is your favorite part of the job so far?
My favorite part of the job is the community I am a part of. I am surrounded by intelligent, driven, and compassionate colleagues. Also, being able to help and guide my students is absolutely rewarding.
5. Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy outdoor adventure, hiking and being crafty.
6. What was your favorite class in college?
My favorite class in college was “Introduction to Youth Development.” In this class, I learned the importance of the phrase “let those who live that life lead you.” In other words, young people come from all sorts of backgrounds; they are the experts of their life experience. We can learn from them by taking a step back and letting them educate us.
7. When we can travel again, what’s your dream destination?
My dream destination to travel to would be Egypt. It’s on my bucket list.
8. What’s your favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Nothing beats a delicious home-cooked meal and a moment to share memories and express gratitude with loved ones.
9. What two or three famous or inspirational people would you love to meet for coffee?
This is hard. Hmm. I would say Alicia Keys, Malcolm X and President Obama.
10. What’s your life motto or favorite saying?
“We may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated,” by Maya Angelou is one of my favorite sayings. This quote was the introduction to my college essay! I consider myself a resilient woman of color. Life is unpredictable and, at times, challenging. However, despite the hardships, we must always continue to push forward.