Gabriella Alvarez

RIT Liberty Partnerships Program Alumni

When did you graduate high school, and which high school did you attend?
I graduated Spring 2016 from Greece Olympia High School!

What are you up to now?
I am currently a senior at Cornell University majoring in Biology and Society and my expected graduation is August 2020! After I graduate, I plan to gain experience in the medical field by working in a clinical setting while finishing up pre-medical requirements! After this, I hope to continue on to medical school! Exciting!

How did you get involved with Liberty Partnerships?
I got involved with Liberty Partnerships as a freshman in high school, simply by hearing about the opportunities available to me through the program. As I got older and developed relationships with the LPP coordinators at Greece Olympia, I started to get more involved, and everything snow-balled from there!

What are some of your favorite activities/programs that you did through Liberty Partnerships?
Some of my favorite activities through the program included the personal and professional workshops! I truly felt like I learned more about myself, how the professional world works, and how to carry myself as I became older and more involved in the work environment! I also really enjoyed the college tour trips, even though I didn’t end up going to a college we toured, I truly got a better idea of admissions criteria, the importance of looking at both location and college degree programs, and most importantly, what I wanted for myself at college!

Describe how Liberty Partnerships shaped your life both in and out of the classroom.
I could write an entire paper on this question! I truly believe that LPP gave me a community at school to be myself in, and to be positively reinforced for it! It was a safe space for me, which is so important at the time, and I loved being able to go there and get away from things while also growing as an individual. Being in LPP made me realize that I could unapologetically be myself, and I didn’t have to feel ashamed for that! It allowed me to realize what was important in my life at the time, and I will forever be indebted to LPP for that.

What are you most proud of?
This is a very loaded question and can be answered in so many ways! With regards to what I am most proud of having received from LPP, I would really say it is the relationships I developed with the coordinators, they are truly amazing people and have shown that they really care about my well-being, and where I end up in life. I have learned so much from them, and forging relationships with them has helped build my confidence and faith in myself. Those are relationships I’ll never be able to replace! In terms of what I am most proud of about myself/ my journey, I have had a lot of ups and downs at Cornell, and it has truly changed who I am. There are so many ways in which Cornell is great, and by great, I mean the opportunities it provides for its students and the resources available, but it can also be very toxic and mentally straining. I am very proud of myself for maintaining faith in myself throughout my academic career and pushing through all of the negativity, the sense of imposter syndrome, and even sometimes the shame imposed on by students, and at times professors. There is always a way in life, and I am so proud of myself for realizing this in every step of my journey.

What advice do you have for current students?
Advice I would offer for current LPP students is be willing to take criticism. Some of the most radical changes I have made in my life have been due to advice/constructive criticism I received from friends, academic advisors, and even professors; keep in mind that none of the advice was what I really “wanted to hear”. Sometimes it takes a kick in the pants to really make changes in how you live your life, but be receptive to this advice, and value the fact that you have people who truly care enough to give you criticism!