Gabriela Roque '17
"There were a lot of things that attracted me to Goucher College: the campus, the academics, the mission statement, and of course studying abroad."
What drew you to your major?
I took the introduction to sociology simply to fulfill a general requirement, but then I found a discipline whose methods, theories, and topics just really excite me. It gave me the power to understand the world and make sense of my experiences, especially when it came to social injustices. When I confront our realities of violence, I see power, economic status, institutions, values, identity, and history. This is empowering to me because I can see what really needs to be changed, and I see how social change is possible. In sociology, ideas are powerful, and they're always changing.
What led to your decision to transfer to Goucher? Where did you transfer from?
I transferred from Frederick Community College after receiving my associate's degree. There were a lot of things that attracted me to Goucher College: the campus, the academics, the mission statement, and of course studying abroad. It was also a small school that focused on inclusion and community. I didn't want to go to a big school and become just a number in a classroom. Relationships are important at Goucher and the professors, staff, faculty, and administration value the time they spend with you and get to know you. That was important to me in my education.
What are your plans after graduating?
I recently applied for Teach for America and hope to move to California and teach there next fall. I've always enjoyed working with children and am passionate about education. Part of the reason I applied for Teach for America was for the opportunity to work in underserved areas. I know that in California, particularly LA, there are limited resources for the Latino population. My parents actually immigrated to Los Angeles from Guatemala, and now I'm the first in my family who will graduate from college. I'm hoping I can also be a role model for these kids and someone they can relate to.
What are your other interests or passions?
Along with helping others, I believe it is important to protect and preserve the environment. I enjoy being in nature, taking photos of flowers, hiking, exploring new places, and watching the sunset. There is so much natural beauty and wonder about Earth, and I'd like to experience as much of it as I can.
What do you consider to be the important aspects of the Goucher experience?
For me, one of the important aspects of Goucher was the ability to volunteer in the community. I became a student leader for civic action with the department of community-based learning and worked at an elementary school with English as second language students. I also volunteered as a tutor for the Goucher Prison Education Partnership. The CBL isn't the only way to get involved in the community, there are clubs and many other student-run initiatives that cover all types of issues: animal rights, education, environment, special needs, even food insecurity. I think that throughout one's Goucher experience they become more aware about these issues and collectively try to understand and tackle the issue.
What advice would you give to those who are beginning the college application process
or are thinking about transferring schools?
It can be an overwhelming experience. I think if you can meet faculty or professors before you transfer that can really make a difference. If you have a major in mind, email the head of that department, consider the requirements, and schedule of classes (some classes are only offered one semester). After transferring as many credits as you can, create a plan for any general requirements you have left, requirements for your major/minor, and when you will study abroad. Also, turn in financial aid materials as soon as possible. If you are concerned about finances this will help you know well in advance how much aid you can expect.