Genesis Valverde, a junior majoring in communication
arts/public relations and minoring in theatre and psychology, is
studying in Barcelona, Spain, this semester as part of the Mount's
Study Abroad program. Read her letter to Dean Harry Steinway:
You don’t know the joy I felt when I read your e-mail. I am so
grateful for all the opportunities and all the support that I have
received from you and the MSMC HEOP staff.
Four years ago, I was in high school, praying everyday that I
would receive an acceptance letter from any college. I felt afraid.
I didn't want to stay and become what society expected a young
Latina woman from the Bronx to be. My entire life, I had to work so
hard for every little thing.
I can say with assurance and pride that MSMC, HEOP, and of
course, you, are the reasons why I am the strong woman that I’ve
become. A woman that no longer doubts in her talents; a woman that
dreams big and works hard to achieve; a woman that finds herself
walking in the streets of Barcelona with tears in her eyes, because
she still can't believe that she is living it all.
As I make my way to volunteer at a homeless shelter located in
"Las Ramblas," I realize that the only way for me to show how
appreciative I am is to give back. Currently, I volunteer after
school at a homeless shelter, where we provide food, water and a
place to stay to homeless people, drug addicts, or those who have
lost their way and are unable to provide for themselves.
I also work with immigrant children who know little English. I
mentor, tutor and basically give them hope. Next week, I will start
volunteering at a local hospital.
Many students go abroad to have fun. I felt the need to give
back; to grow as an individual, and give to those who need, because
you and HEOP took me in when I had nothing but a dream.
In April, I will be participating in a service mission in
Morocco and living with a family. I am truly happy in everything I
am taking part in. I’ve been networking with local nonprofit
organizations, radio stations and companies as far as finding
career mentors, and it has been very successful. I am constantly
hearing from the program's dean that he has never met a student
like me, because I am the first student to participate in the
program to volunteer and network. I always respond with my head
high:"I am a Mount Saint Mary College student. That's what we
Every day, I ride a bike that I rented to school. This place is
absolutely beautiful! I am in love with the culture, colors and
people. This has to be one of the best decisions I've ever made,
besides going to the Mount.
I miss MSMC and my MSMC family!