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ALEXANDRA TORREZ

Alex is majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations and minoring in Global Poverty and Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

ALEX'S STORY

Dublin High School | Las Positas College

When I was in high school I was really set on this vague idea of "success" and how I was "supposed to" attain it. I was focused but to a point where I limited myself and my options for the future. I had not intended to go to a community college - that had never been the plan. I was an AP student, I competed in varsity sports, I was active in our schools academic support programs and received honors when I graduated. 

But the reality was that I had almost dropped out my freshman year and had spent so much time fighting to get back to where I was "supposed to be" I hadn't really thought about what I wanted to do. 

I was so lucky to have people in my life who encouraged my to dare to try something different. Without this opportunity I would have never had the chance to live in seven different countries, to earn three degrees and be as financially independent as I will be when I graduate. 

 

“I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I ended up where I needed to be.”

Douglas Adams

 
Books

WHY I AM SHARING

There are some many reasons why I want to share my story but what it boils down to is that I hope that my story will inspire people to chose the path that makes sense for them instead of a narrowly defined path of success that was set by everyone else. I believe it is important that community colleges have individuals who are willing to share their experience so that more people understand the opportunity, process, and programs at a community college from a students perspective.

OPPORTUNITIES I'VE HAD ALONG THE WAY

I knew I wanted to travel one day but I just didn't know where to start. During my first year of college I saw some posters around campus of possible study abroad tours but when looking at the finances versus the time in the actual country I felt like it wasn't worth it. That's when I discovered Diablo Valley College's study abroad partnership with the American institute of Foreign Study, it had everything I was looking for in terms of length, cost, and classes. It's programming was really flexible and the staff that managed the program at our study abroad campus even helped me plan my trips to countries around where we were located. I ended up visiting several other countries with friends I had made on the trip when originally I left without knowing anyone and hadn't planned a trip to another country prior to departure.

Laptop & Coffee
Mist Over Skyscrapers

TEAMS

While attending community college I have had the opportunity to compete on the swim team, and the forensics team.

Swimming has been a huge part of my life. It has always been a passion for me. In community college I was able to develop my talent further which allowed me to become both a state and nationally ranked swimmer. Without the necessary time needed to develop I would not have received the athletic offers from colleges I did upon graduation. Although I did not end up pursuing these offers it felt like a worth while accomplishment. Today, I swim at my leisure with the Berkeley Master Swimmers.

Forensics, or public speaking, was something I knew I needed help with. I have always been a quiet kid and I felt awkward in front of large crowds I wasn't familiar with. Through the help of world class public speakers, turned professors, I was able to gain the skills I needed in order to become an International Forensics Association finalist in Montreal. The experience was amazing and the friends I made on my forensic team are all off doing wonderful work as they move into their fields of work or study. 

SOMETHING I HOPE EVERYONE KNOWS

Community college is still college. You will be expected to be independent and have your own plan mapped out but there are people to help you accomplish those things if you ask. And you need to ask, speak up, dig. It's just like any other college - it will be exactly what you make of it.

Dramatic Dew Drops