Freedom to Find
“This is what I want to do. It’s here. I love this space.” Without hesitation, Jessica Angeles accepted an internship in the First Resource Center before her soon-to-be supervisor could even finish describing the role. Finding a work-study job as part of her financial aid package was only part of it. “The people in this office have made a big difference in my life. I want to give back to the community that’s given so much to me.”
Jessica works with Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts (BLAST) students in their first year, helping to strengthen and expand the community for first-generation students. She was also a BLAST peer mentor over the summer, drawing on her own experience in the pre-matriculation program. She recognizes the value of connecting with other first-generation, low-income students, and she strives to help them navigate a new and intimidating environment.
Jessica has learned the importance of building ties with different parts of campus. “I’m seeing how there are so many aspects to me,” she says, thanks to support from upperclassmen and the cultural and identity-based centers. “The freedom to explore who you are is powerful. I’m applying that not just to what I do on campus but also to my studies.”
A clinical psychology major, Jessica is considering graduate school. She is committed to a career where she can interact with people one-on-one. Classes on clinical methods and on drugs and behavior— so fascinating to her that they feel more like extracurriculars than course work—are preparing her for continued studies and a meaningful career.
At Tufts, Jessica has found a sense of freedom, and from that, she feels like she is finding her purpose.
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