Getting Involved to Get Ahead

Contributed Photo/ Delicia Alarcon

If you need to find Delicia Alarcon ‘14, you might see her at the info desk where she works. Or maybe you can try Sunday mass where she serves as one of the Eucharistic Ministers. Or check her out as she works as a First Year Mentor (FYM). Or you could look for in her dorm room in Loyola Hall.

“I’m never in my room,” said Alarcon.

Well, you get the point. The sophomore is everywhere on campus.

On March 15, the Honors student traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Rising Leaders Summit at the Marriott Metro Center. This summit, sponsored by Teach for America and the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA), brought together 115 talented and driven student leaders across the United States.

The Summit allows students to develop more leadership skills in seminars and start discussions on how educational equity can be spread in parts of the country that lack in it.

Alarcon, a double major in psychology and Spanish with minors in Entrepreneurship and Education, found the Summit to be an inspirational event.

“It was very inspiring to meet people from all over the country … and coming together with one common purpose and one common mission, which is to help education reform,” said Alarcon.

From the Summit, she cited Jonathan Padilla, treasurer of the Young Democrats of America, as an inspiring figure. Padilla shared four necessary characteristics of all leaders that Alarcon found to be “powerful”: humility, courage to take risks, conviction and passion.

Alarcon wanted to “become more involved with the overall mission of what Teach for America stands for, as well as to help the Fairfield community and Bridgeport educational system.” She was also familiar with other service and learning programs like Head Start, an educational system in Bridgeport, which incited her interest in Teach for America.

“Being involved with the kids, having the opportunity to speak to them in Spanish, because I know Spanish, and to close that achievement gap – that’s something I’ve always been passionate about,” said Alarcon. She sees Teach for America as a great medium to achieve her goal.

As newlyweds, her parents emigrated from Paraguay to the United States. Though born in the U.S., she learned how to speak Spanish at home to the point that she had to attend ESL classes to help her English.

In 5th grade, Alarcon moved to Asunción, Paraguay. Her parents wanted her and her brother to have a better understanding of their culture and also have the opportunity to meet family members. Her time in Paraguay was “enriching,” Alarcon said.

This bilingual experience inspired Alarcon to implement changes in education.

Alarcon is glad to have the educational opportunities that Fairfield provides her. She also cites multiple people on campus – Heather L. Petraglia, assistant dean and director of undergraduate programs at the Dolan School of Business; Meredith Marquez, associate director of Student Diversity Programs; Kristina Vaios, graduate assistant of Student Diversity Programs; Carrie Rivera, Project Excel; and Cath Borgman, director of the Career Planning Center  – who she sees as mentors.

So, what’s in store for her in the future? Alarcon hopes to continue her involvement with Teach for America and educating those in need.

Published on The Mirror website, March 21, 2012

One Comment

  1. Ana Di Sessa

    Way to go Delicia!!It makes me soooo happy to see young people care and getting involved liked you do.
    Que Dios te bendiga! Love, Ana Di Sessa


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