This post was written by Palmer Scholars' new Scholar Engagement Coordinator Alicia Guevera-Molina.
Background: I was born and partially raised in El Salvador until the age of 7 when I immigrated to the United States with my mother. I grew up in a single-parent household and moved across national and state borders with my family in search of better opportunities until finally settling in Northwest Washington mid-way through middle school. I lived and graduated high school in Mount Vernon WA – where the tulips grow and the air is nice but the grocery stores lacked Salvadoran “flavor.” From my experiences, I developed a level of adaptability that helped me navigate new environments at a fast pace which supported me A LOT when obtaining my BA in Asian Studies and International Studies at Seattle University.
As a college student, I became heavily involved in tutoring and mentoring programs for both high school students and on-campus college peers. I was a lead tutor, later mentor/liaison, for a community-based department at Seattle University focused on elevating and delivering curriculum to high school students in achieving their high school diploma.
After graduating from SU, I worked as an academic instructor for a summer program through WA-BLOC Freedom Schools – a local organization focused on elevating BIPOC youth voice and experiences/education through literacy and community building. Later, I became a youth development instructor and college/career coach for young adults ranging from 16-24 years of age aiding in their personal, academic, and career development.
Why Palmer Scholars?: As a first generation-Latina from a low-income single-parent household, I share the lived experiences that some young BIPOC adults face in the U.S. I remember how scared and insecure I felt when I began my college/career journey and how confusing the whole system felt navigating it alone. I was blessed to have a supportive family, mentors, professors, and colleagues that nourished my growth helping to lead to where I am today. I would not have grown as much if it wasn’t for those who supported me. Thus, it is my personal mission to contribute and support other young adults in the community in their personal trajectory just as my community did for me.
As a mentor and coach of over 4 years, I understand and highly appreciate Palmer Scholars’ mission and values as they align with my own. I want to ensure everyone has the ability to feel supported, safe, and valued as they navigate through life, not just nourishing their education, but also their person.
Hobbies: In my spare time, I like to read, write, listen to music (all types, from classic to reggaeton), and watch international dramas. ^.^
Thank you Palmer Scholars for having me. I’m excited to join and meet everyone!