It was not until I got back to campus and began telling a friend about the conference, that I really began to reflect. The first thing I thought about was that the five presenters in my panel were chosen from 90 papers submitted in this area and I was one of these five! The thing that really stands out to me now, that I didn’t notice during the presentation is that I was the only Latina on the panel. The other four consisted of two Anglo and two black. It was not until I reflected on this breakdown that I now understand the importance of my participation at the conference.
As someone who is interested in going on to graduate school, this gave me a glimpse of what to expect as I continue on in my education. I have always grown up knowing that people who look like me do not make up the majority in the field of academia here in the United States. I believe it is important that I represent my culture and be a part of making a difference as a Latina on behalf of those who do not have the chance to do so.
As I continue, it is going to be important that I embrace my identity and my role in the future. I know attaining success in higher education is not going to be easy, but I have to remember that there are people on my side. I have been thankful enough to have family, friends, and mentors support me through college and who are rooting for me in what is to come.
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