Alessandra Cruz ’22
Major: Human Development
Minors: Education & Law and Society
The issues of public concern I’m passionate about are … mental health, educational equity and law and enforcement.
Engagement experience: Volunteering in the Philippine General Hospital in the Philippines, serving as a summer research associate for Cayuga Health Partners, connecting students to community-engaged learning opportunities as a student liaison of the Cornell Urban Semester Program and leading activities on West Campus as an Active Citizen in the West Campus Active Citizens Program.
As an Engaged Ambassador, I … am honored to be a part of the Engaged Cornell community that reaches people from all over the world. It’s wonderful to lead and to learn from community-engaged learning opportunities with others while exploring people’s identity and sense of purpose. I appreciate and enjoy listening to people’s stories and seeing how passionate they are. It keeps me grounded and motivated!
I got involved because … I think that one cannot appreciate the importance of education without experiencing it and applying it in a community or “real-world” setting. I was curious to learn more about the “So what?” aspect of the proposed solutions to issues of public concern. In order to explore the “So what?” aspect, OEI provides networks with community organizations for students, faculty and staff. These networks quite literally allow them to see how their academic work and experiences connect with the community goals. Through networking, civic engagement and critical reflection, they are creating a “knowledge bridge” in hopes of lessening the opportunity gap between institutions and communities within Ithaca, New York, and around the world.
My friends would say I’m … an approachable, reliable, inspirational, funny and driven woman.
Best Cornell memory (so far!): The first time I saw the sunset on the slope during a crisp fall evening.
Fun fact: I like to dance while listening to music.
Future plans: Professionally, I plan to apply to graduate/law schools and to continue to support Engaged Cornell efforts. Personally, I want to stay healthy and continue to inspire others, especially women of color, to value their self-worth.
A cohort of students who have completed the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership and lead a variety of special projects for the Office of Engagement Initiatives