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A letter from graduating Senior Valeska Muñoz

Valeska Munoz. (Image courtesy of Valeska Munoz, edited by The Campanil)
Valeska Munoz. (Image courtesy of Valeska Munoz, edited by The Campanil)

For the last eight years, I have been preparing myself to become a veterinarian. However, I am aware that there are many current social and political inequities in education, and I have come to the realization that becoming a vet will not allow me to be a catalyst for social change.

From my ethnic studies minor, I’ve become aware of socioeconomic boundaries that prevent minorities from performing at their maximum potential. As a biology major, I have personally experienced the lack of representation of people of color in this field. As a Latina, I have also experienced instances where I was reminded that my race might inhibit my career aspirations from becoming reality. Everyone has a purpose in life, and though I have been on a completely different career trajectory until now, I have decided that I will be a teacher in Oakland.

I aim to become an effective and exceptional teacher. I will serve students and prove to them that science is accessible to all and that their personal background is irrelevant to their success in this field. I will create a safe, all-inclusive, inspirational and driven environment where students lack intimidation in science and instead grow motivation to pursue it.

I aim to be an effective leader in a community where I am needed by using my interpersonal skills. Many students lack privileges that are readily available to middle-class and upper-class families. Therefore, I feel a responsibility to provide students with the best preparatory education possible so that they take advantage of all opportunities that become available to them. I will motivate and empower students by understanding them and their intersectionalities. I will connect with them and build an understanding based on what constitutes their conceptual framework as young men and women. Lastly, I will demonstrate a sense of compassion, commitment, and leadership that will motivate students to accomplish greatness.

Read Valeska Munoz’s Mills senior moment upon realizing that she’ll be graduating in May.

For more graduation-related posts, check out The Campanil‘s designated 2014 Commencement webpage here or click on the “Commencement” link in the upper right hand corner of the header.