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Posts Tagged Harvard University

Brazil is more than just Beaches!

jesse-85One of the best parts about being in another part of the world is the change of context. Even though you may be experiencing something familiar (for example, a college campus or museum like in the video below), it could be a totally different experience. The opening days in Sao Paulo, Brazil were definitely a change of context and I really enjoyed checking out the museums and cultural landmarks that riddle the city.

Come to think of it, Sao Paulo was a great (and slightly unexpected) introduction to Brazil. When I pictured Brazil, the first thing I thought of was the beach but the urban setting of the metropolitan city of Sao Paulo showed me that there was so much more.

I’m so happy that I’m able to experience all of this first hand. And remember, it’s all because of college! My perspective on the world is definitely expanding- The world is so huge and I have so much more to see.

Sao Paulo is actually one of the largest cities in the world- which kind of blew my mind, to be honest. I was born and raised in the city (San Diego to be specific) so it was similar but totally different at the same time. There was definitely a lot to see, that’s for sure. Actually, let me show you- check out the video to see a few of the things I was able to experience in the first few days!

Adventures in Brazil!!

jesse-85It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, I was in a different country, time zone, and hemisphere. Up until college, I had only known California and small, poor parts of Mexico (where my family is originally from) but now I am enjoying the culture, language, and beaches of Brazil!

I am currently participating in a Harvard Summer Study Abroad Program that gives me the opportunity of studying- and experiencing- three very unique cities of Brazil: Sao Paulo, Paraty, and Rio de Janeiro.

I never thought in a million years that I’d be able to travel the world, see so many new things and have so many new experiences but here I am- doing just that. And for FREE! Definitely one of the great things about college. Make sure you start brainstorming where you want to go for when you get here! Colleges usually have a very wide selection of Study Abroad Programs to choose from. Where will you go?

I will be chronicling my experiences in Brazil through a video blog. Below is the introduction to the journey!

I will also have videos about my experiences in China and Spain, which are coming after Brazil! I am excited to see the world through a new lens. These study abroad programs will definitely provide exciting adventures. I hope you tune in!

Presencia Latina at Harvard!

jesse-85College is a place where self-expression is a daily accomplishment. Not only are you learning about the vast array of cultures that this world has to offer, you have the chance to teach others about yours. Every year, the students at Harvard organize an event where the student body is able to come together and celebrate the Latino culture through a showcase of Latin arts. This event is called Presencia Latina. From Aztec Dance to Spoken Word poetry performances, Presencia Latina is a place where the Latino culture is brought to the forefront and shared with the entire college campus.

One aspect of Presencia Latina that I especially appreciate is the fact that you don’t have to be Latino to participate in the performances. All of the group performances were made up of people from very diverse cultures and backgrounds whose appreciation of the Latino culture brought them together to perform. Presencia Latina is one of my favorite events of the year for all of these reasons!

Oh yeah, and guess what? I was asked to host the show this year! I was a little nervous but so ready. Check out  the video below to see the steps I took to prepare for the show and also a few clips of some of the performances of the 9th annual Presencia Latina!

Gang Violence at Harvard

jesse-85I can’t believe how much time has flown by! There are already only a few more weeks in school and I’m so close to being halfway done with college… It blows my mind.

It has definitely been a life-changing experience so far. One of my favorite aspects of college is the ability to share what your passionate about with the large community you’re in. Many schools have the resources available for you to create, organize, and host an event on campus. Whatever it is, YOU can do it.

Like dancing? Put together a showcase. Like Art? Organize an art show. Is there an issue you care deeply about? Put together an event or forum. Whatever it is, it is up to you to bring that to your community. You don’t even have to be in college to do it! You can do it at your high school, in your neighborhood, at the local Rec Center, wherever! All that matters is that you are able to bring something to the community.

One of the things I was hoping to bring to my community was awareness on the issue of Gang Violence. I reached out to the administration on campus, contacted some of the student organizations I was involved with, and helped organize an event that I think went pretty well.

Check out the video I made to help begin the spread of awareness.

Did you like it? Check out the follow up video filmed right before the event and then some words about bringing whatever it is YOUR passionate about to YOUR community!

Meeting Shakira. I was melting…

jesse-85Times have been VERY hectic for me these past couple weeks, to say the least. A lot of work, a lot of studying, a lot of events to go to and organize. The new challenges that college puts forward can be a little overwhelming sometimes but be sure that with each new obstacle you overcome, you’re getting stronger.

And don’t think that all the hard work won’t pay off! It most definitely does. In big ways. Everything I’m learning, I can apply to my actual life and see things from a whole new perspective. I’m noticing things that I’ve never noticed before… It’s incredible.

And not only that, I’m having amazing experiences and meeting incredible people!

For example, guess who I met a couple weeks ago?

Give up?

SHAKIRA!! It was amazing. I don’t get star struck but I’m not going to lie, I lost my breath when Shakira waved and winked at me from the table across from where I was sitting. It was a platonic wink but nonetheless, I was melting.

This was all due to a Harvard event called Cultural Rhythms where the community gets to celebrate the diversity of Harvard students. It was a great time and the performances (and the FOOD) were phenomenal. Shakira was pretty cool too haha. Check out the video to see how it went!

And don’t forget that pretty soon, you’ll have the chance to meet AMAZING people when you get to college too.

CSO Testimonial

jesse-85Jesse Sanchez shares his thoughts on CSO in this testimonial video.

Getting Money and that College Experience!

jesse-85My sophomore spring is off to a great start! The semester has already picked up and is moving faster and faster every day. I can’t believe that I’ve already been in school for almost a month. If you want to see how the first few weeks went, check out the video below!

One of the first things I did was go see my financial aid officer because you always have to be sure that your finances are in order. You can never be too careful!

One of the most crucial things about preparing for college is making sure you do EVERYTHING you can to try to make sure you can pay for it.

I can think of 3 ways to start:

1. Apply to A TON of SCHOLARSHIPS!!- you can start applying as early as middle school for some. Apply to EVERY SCHOLARSHIP you qualify for! Local and National.

Note: Make sure to check out scholarships that are offered locally because the pool of applicants is smaller which means you will have an even better chance of receiving award.

2. FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is crucial to getting Financial Aid from the schools that you will be applying to. Be sure to fill it out!

3. Talk to your high school counselor! Set up a meeting and talk it out with them, they should be able to help you out with the details of applying for the FAFSA and applying for scholarships.

These are just some first steps, it is up to you to follow through and get that money! You don’t want to miss out on the college experience! Check out the latest VideoBlog to hear about some of the experiences I’m having in college!

Snowboarding is like College!

jesse-85There’s this huge snowstorm going on in Boston right now and it reminded me of snowboarding for the first time in Denver. If you want to see how it went and how snowboarding is like college, check out this video!

Back From My Internship!

jesse-85School has started! I’m definitely excited for this new semester and ready for another fresh start. I am definitely grateful for such an amazing winter break that has helped me learn so much.

Whenever you’re on break, it’s very important to rest, relax and be with friends and family. This is one of my favorite parts about breaks from school- you get time to catch up on sleep and also time to catch up with the ones you love. Another thing I really enjoy about breaks is that you have a chance to take part in something that you may not have the time to while school is in session.

While I was on winter break, I was lucky enough to take part in an internship in Denver, Colorado at a network of public charter schools whose student body was 90% Latino and 94% Free/Reduced Lunch. I enjoyed my time at the internship very much because I was able to connect with the students and show them that I too come from a similar background and that I was able to make it to college. I learned a lot from the students and I also learned a lot about the administrative aspects of the schools I was working with which definitely helped me understand what it takes to keep a school running smoothly.

Overall, my experience at West Denver Prep was amazing! It was time very well spent. I encourage you to find ways to make the best of your breaks too. Breaks are a time for rest and also a time for growth! Make the most of your time. Find something to get involved in! Make an impact!

If you want to see how the first week of my time in Denver went, check out this video! There will be more videos to come so be ready!