I have been challenged to step outside of my comfort zone in order to dig deeper and answer the Ignatian questions, Who am I? Whose am I? and Who am I called to be? I don’t think I have answered all these questions, but every moment at Fairfield calls for a moment of reflection about them.
Astrid Quinones ’14
Hometown: Walpole, Mass.
Self-designed Major: Social Work & Justice
Minors: Peace and Justice Studies; Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Martin Luther King Jr. Ripple of Hope Scholarship Finalist, Spring, 2013; Wm. Morris Study Abroad Scholarship, Spring, 2013; Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Scholar, CIEE Thailand, Spring, 2013; Persons of the Year, awarded in May 2012 by the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, and White House Campus Champions for Change Challenge, awarded in March 2012 by MTV as a top-15 finalist for co-founding the Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Commons at Fairfield University
I chose Fairfield because my mother loved the school and was so proud of her first daughter to be attending such a beautiful campus and great school.
I have learned a lot about myself here—my passions, my values, my strengths and weaknesses. Everyone at Fairfield University has had some impact, whether through a casual conversation, class lecture, or campus event. I have been challenged to step outside of my comfort zone in order to dig deeper and answer the Ignatian questions, Who am I? Whose am I? and Who am I called to be? I don’t think I have answered all these questions, but every moment at Fairfield calls for a moment of reflection about them.
My greatest moment at Fairfield was my experience while studying abroad in Thailand. Thanks to Fairfield’s Study Abroad Office, I was able to have an amazing journey through the Northeastern region of Thailand, interacting with Thai people, learning the language, culture, and engaging with its politics and customs during one incredible semester.
Designing my own major
The major includes sociology, politics, economics, psychology, and communication.
Due to my family experiences with social work and its services, I became very interested in social work. I’ve been learning what causes family instability and understand how troubled children function. This does not allow me to diagnose a child, but will help me understand what their disabilities and struggles are and how that affects a family. I’m also learning the communication skills necessary to work with families and individuals to meet their needs.
Another skill that I’m learning in this self-designed major is to be able to evaluate a household’s situation within the realms of race and class. I also want to explore and develop my knowledge of social justice. There is a main focus on American politics and inequalities regarding race, class, and gender. On another level, I can observe and evaluate how cognition is influenced. By observing these variables affecting societal structures and economics, I hope to gain the skills to understand how these injustices come about and what can be done to prevent them.
I am most proud of my opportunity to direct Take Back the Night (a candlelight vigil in memory and protest against the violence women have experienced physically and sexually). It’s an event near to my heart, and I am so glad to be able to celebrate survivors that I know and those who may still be hidden in the dark.
What’s next after graduation
I hope to be influential in the communities I engage in. I first hope to teach in low-income Hispanic communities. Later, I will go back to school to pursue psychology or social work.
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