Miranda is a caring, compassionate, and thoughtful senior at Westminster High School, who plans to have career focused on helping individuals in her community. She'll be in the first in her family to attend college. We asked Miranda to tell us more more about her college and career dreams.
Why is going to college important to you?
Going to college is important to me because I want to have a stable career and experience college. I'm coming from background where neither of my parents went to high school or college; I can see how they have struggled because they didn’t get that experience. It’s very important to me that I get to further my education and have a job that I actually enjoy doing.
Tell us about your involvement in your community.
The beginning of my sophomore year, I joined the Student Advisory Council through Goodwill’s Youth Services and that’s where I got my first taste of volunteering. It’s definitely become one of my biggest passions. In addition to Student Advisory Council, I’ve also volunteered a lot on my own with Easter Seals, which is camp out in Empire, CO, that is dedicated to disabled children and adults.
Do you think you’ll be involved in community service while you’re in college?
100% yes, that is very important to me. I might end up doing something different that I’ve never done before, because I’ll be in a new environment, but hopefully I’ll still be able to do some similar things. I love volunteering with the disabled community and I love working with kids. It's also very rewarding - knowing that you helped out someone feels so great. That’s part of why I want to go to college too; I want to have a job where I am continuously helping people.
Tell us about how you demonstrate leadership.
A lot of times when people think of leadership, they think of a role - like being the president of the National Honor Society. But I think it means a lot more than that. I show that I'm a leader in a lot of different ways, especially being there for others. It’s not about authority, it’s about how you affect, help, and guide others. You can be a leader in the smallest thing. For example, I’ve influenced my little sister in a lot of ways because I have been an example for her.
What is your favorite part about the Access Opportunity program?
The support that comes with AO is absolutely incredible; I would be nowhere without it. Especially being first-gen - a lot of the things I’ve learned over the past two years I wouldn’t have known how to do. But also it’s taught me how to be really thankful - to be able to have this opportunity is incredible.
Tell us about a defining moment in your life.
One of the most defining moments in my life is something I wrote about in my college essay - my aunt has cerebral palsy and I took care of her at Easter Seals camp. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done, both physically and emotionally, but it was also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Seeing her so happy at the camp prom, ziplining, and all of the other activities - it was amazing. That experience 100% shaped who I am and what I’m passionate about.
What advice would you give to younger students?
A lot of students have the mindset that you're stuck in the place where you come from, which I think holds them back. I would try to remind them that even though we can’t choose where we come from, we can choose where we go from there. Good things come out of hard work - it’s always rewarding, no matter what.
Tell us about your dream job or some of your career goals.
My dream job is to become an art therapist or adventure therapist. I really like the idea of helping someone learn something new about themselves through creating something or a physical activity. I want to make sure I’m doing something that fulfills me, whether that’s through working with the disabled community, kids, or the elderly. I also want to make sure I’m giving back to people and helping others as much as possible.
Tell us something we might not know about you.
I really like the band Twenty One Pilots - their music is really good, but the thing about them that I really like is the meaning they put behind their music. A lot of their music is about mental health; they demonstrate that dealing with anxiety and depression is a normal thing and it shouldn’t have the negative stigma behind it. Dealing with those issues is hard, but it’s possible and nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a band that has inspired me a lot.