Yuselly is one of the many students at CV with a voice and passion to help those who need it the most. She has volunteered at numerous non-profit organizations and has discovered her passion: helping the next-generation of young people succeed. This pushed her to become a Youth Development major, but it doesn’t stop there. Read her interview below to find out more!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Yuselly Mendoza and I was born and raised in Providence, RI. As a child, I dreamt of having my own bilingual elementary classroom, teaching and introducing my students to new materials and life-learning adventures. But after working and volunteering in non-profit organizations such as Dorcas International of RI, One Neighborhood Builders, and the Boys and Girls Club, I learned and experienced the unique ways of helping the youth specifically in after-school programs. These amazing opportunities led me to decide to switch my major from Elementary Education to Youth Development at Rhode Island College, Class of 2018. During my free time, I volunteer at William D’Abate Elementary School as a reading tutor, take long walks with my foster dog, visit the museum and library with my niece, and attend spinning classes at the gym.
What was your CV experience like and how have they helped you through college?
What can I say about College Visions? So many wonderful things! I UTTERLY LOVE CV! Without their endless support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have made it this far in my college career. The FAFSA workshops, one-on-one meetings, midterm care packages, and helpful advice are what kept me going. When I couldn’t afford to pay for textbooks, CV was there to cover the cost. When I had thoughts of quitting school because of hardships, CV was there to listen, to guide, and to map out a plan. Applying for CV was one of the best choices I have ever made in high school.
What type of experience(s) have you had with being an activist?
Well, I began my activism when Central High School discontinued their multicultural studies course. I took the class in my junior year as an elective. After hearing the devastating news, I right away informed my former classmates and created a local petition. A good friend of mine and I stood outside during after-school hours, informing and educating current high school students on the importance of the class. After 243 signatures, a group of students and I attended the Providence School Committee to address the issue. Unfortunately, the class was still removed but the similar movement continues through the Providence Student Union. As other issues occurred nationally, I participated in bigger movements such as the March for Immigrant in New York City and The Women’s March on Washington. My participation was a way to support and to learn more about how to help in the community.
Why do you think it is important for you to speak up about that issue?
These experiences were a complete eye opener. It made me realize that I hold an ethical responsibility in empowering and encouraging others in making a difference. As a Youth Development major, my career goals consist of serving and educating the immigrant and refugee youth. This profession will require me to advocate for those who may not able to speak for themselves.
How has CV influenced or helped you?
College Visions has certainly helped me believe in myself. I was a very shy person (still am), but I now stand up and speak in confidence on issues I am most passionate about. CV has helped me find my voice. Also, they are always there to remind me to never give up. No matter what life throws at you, never give up.
Yuselly will graduate in 2018 with her fellow CV students from Rhode Island College–bringing our alumni community to almost 300 college graduates! Keep going Yuselly; you are almost there!