Airin Brittany Valdez-Monroy
- Fall Quarter, 2022: What I'm looking forward to most during my sophomore year at Stanford
- Spring Quarter, 2022: Why I applied to LSP / LSP de-mystified, and more!
- Winter Quarter, 2022: Stepping into a new reality as an FGLI student
Check back for more blog posts in future quarters!
More about Airin
Hometown: Los Angeles (Westlake), CA
Stanford neighborhood: N (Crother’s Memorial)
Academic interests: Urban Studies, Psychology, Chicanx/Latinx Studies
Favorite class I took during fall quarter: CSRE 5C: Human Trafficking
Winter quarter course I think I'll enjoy most: Intro to Chicanx/Latinx Studies
Favorite hang-out on Stanford's campus: McMurtry tables 2nd floor
Coolest student organization I joined since arriving: Women’s Community Center
Thing I miss most about home: Home cooked meals, especially my favorite dish Enchiladas Suizas.
Primary reason I applied to Stanford and what I enjoy most about it so far: I applied to Stanford because of the support academically and personally they provide while having the opportunity to explore my interests. I have enjoyed the community and people I have met here and how supportive they are.
Favorite class from the winter quarter: I loved my PWR class and professor! I had PWR 1HT (The Rhetoric of Ethnic and Racial Identity) which created a space for me to finally talk about my identity and questions I had about my own identity for a while. This class felt very welcoming and a safe space for me to share my experiences as a first-generation Mexican-American. I was able to think deeply into the way my identity both ethnic and racial makes up who I am and how this plays out in society. Definitely, one of my favorite courses this whole year!
What I think would be my favorite class Spring Quarter: I think my favorite class Spring Quarter will be SpangLang/HMRTS 108: Migration, Asylum, & Human Rights at the Border. I have always been passionate and advocated for immigrant rights through different efforts. Coming from an ethnic enclave made up of predominantly immigrants from Central America and Mexico I saw the disparities in my communities. This class allows me to hotline for FFI (Freedom for Immigrants) in order to assist people in detention centers with things like getting them connected to groups in their states that can provide support to sending advocate letters for them. Although sometimes this work can be emotionally draining I think it’s a small way for me to continue fighting for immigrant rights while also learning more in the classroom.
Fall Quarter, 2022
This sophomore year, I am looking forward to taking new classes to continue learning about things I am passionate about. For example, this quarter (Autumn) I am taking a class on pregnancy (OBGYN 82Q) where I get to learn more of the physiological aspects but incorporate things like policy and other social factors that impact pregnancies amongst many folks.
I am also very excited to continue working this year at the Women’s Community Center as a staff member so that I can continue to promote community engagement, collective bonding, and cultivating a safe and welcoming environment for new frosh and current students. I am also an RA this year, so it has been heartwarming and fun spending time with residents. I can’t wait to continue making memories alongside my residents and co-staff this year. Overall, I am looking forward to building community across the different groups I am involved in.
Spring Quarter, 2022
I applied to LSP because I wanted to meet new people and have a community coming into Stanford. I wanted to meet other FGLI students knowing I was going to a PWI. I knew I wanted to connect with like-minded people from similar backgrounds to work together and learn not only from LSP but from one another. I wanted to see what ‘college life’ was like before I got into it right away. LSP allowed me to have a good transition from High School into College which is something I also hoped it would help me with.
LSP de-mystified/LSP at a glance
Summer fun, bonding, learning, and growing. Cultivating community amongst your peers to get an insight into college classes and their rigor. Having the opportunity to get a first-hand preview of what life at Stanford will be while being surrounded by other first-generation students. Creating long-lasting friendships and memories as you all navigate this new chapter in life.
The most important takeaways from my first year at Stanford and how LSP relates
The most important takeaway from my first year at Stanford would be to know that everyone is on a different timeline and path. Everyone’s journey is very unique. I remember being afraid when many of my peers kept mentioning how they had a 4-year plan they were following every quarter. The idea of not knowing or not sure what I want to major in scared me as I felt like I was ‘behind or lost’ in my own path. LSP allowed me to see that taking classes I’m interested in and enjoy is good as it allows me to see if it’s a possible major or career path I want to pursue. Having a supportive community (LSP) made me feel calmer and supported through this process which seems terrifying, especially as a first-generation low-income student. I truly valued that LSP emphasized our well-being above all else. It allowed me to also be kinder to myself when navigating these new hardships.
My priorities for the summer ahead
My priorities for this summer are to not only be with family back home but to be able to learn and see different career pathways. I’m ecstatic to take on my internship with the Los Angeles County Public defenders office where I have the opportunity to shadow professionals and get a first-hand experience in the legal field but also make meaningful connections from mentors to peers. I’m also very excited to be back home in Los Angeles over the summer and go out for fun adventures with my loved ones to destress.
Winter Quarter, 2022
Being the first one in my family to navigate the educational system and being accepted into a four-year university is a huge milestone for me but it also brought up many challenges and concerns. I was afraid of not being able to handle the transition to a different environment. LSP was a huge factor and point of support during this transition. Being exposed to college-level classwork and rigor was especially helpful coming from an under-resourced community and school that didn’t prepare me. I was able to cultivate a sense of community and belonging in this new place I now call home. From interacting with my peers in classes and my dorm mates to now being able to call them my family here at Stanford is something very valuable that LSP allowed me to create. Also being able to roam around campus and see other LSP members and catching up or cheering each other on is such a welcoming and warm feeling we all share. I am fortunate to have such a supportive, loving, and understanding community that supports me and in which we help each other grow and learn from each other. Finding that community that I know I can count on was an essential part of my transition to Stanford.