Alvaro was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. He is a current student at Colorado State University studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term.
GET TO KNOW ALVARO
Tell us why you chose to study abroad.
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to show my family and my fellow Latino’s that anything is possible. Growing up in a first generation Mexican-American family, it’s easy to believe stereotypes that are placed on me. Many Latino males my age are more likely to prematurely have kids, get involved in gangs, or end up in jail. However, my largest dedication in life is to break these stereotypes. The color of my skin and my ethnic background have nothing to do with my hunger for success. Going to Florence is another testament in my life that shows me and my community that we do not have to accept our circumstances, we do not have to be underprivileged. We are strong and can achieve anything that we set our minds too.
Tell us about your school, major, interests, clubs (you in a nutshell).
This upcoming year I will be a first generation senior at Colorado State University. I am currently studying Political Science and History. My ideal career would be to work in public administration as a City Manager for a city of about 100,000 people. One of the things I care the most about is community development. For me, it’s important to dedicate my time and service to managing and uplifting underdeveloped communities. The goal is not to help people in need, but to empower them and convince them, that they are capable of standing on their own two feet and achieving anything that they set their minds to.
What are you most excited about re. studying abroad?
At CSU, I have participated in the Leadership Development Community, LifeTraits, RamWelcome Leadership, Alternative Spring Breaks and am now working for the City of Greeley as a Neighborhood Resource Specialist. Everything that I am involved with is about developing relational excellence with the people that I interact with. My main goal would be to develop communities that breed empowerment, success and inclusiveness of different opinions and perspectives.
What are you most nervous about re. studying abroad?
I am most excited about meeting people of different backgrounds! I feel that everyone has an amazing story waiting to be heard and I am jazzed about opening up my ears and take it all in. I am also excited for the loads of Italian food that I am about to eat. I keep hearing that Italy and Florence has some of the best food in Europe so I am ready to stuff myself plump with a variety of tasty meals.
The thing I am most nervous about is the culture shock of living in another country for an extended period of time. I feel like I am about to personally change in a way that I can not predict and the thought of that is intense, but at the same time, this is one of the most exciting things about this trip!
What are three goals that you would like to achieve/accomplish while abroad?
Goal One: Listen to the stories of a 100 different people.
Goal Two: Get engaged in community involvement opportunities that are offered through SAI.
Goal Three: Do one thing each day that steps away from my comfort zone.