Marie Angeles discusses the importance of Mentorship and Commitment to Service

After receiving my Master’s Degree in Higher Education at the University of Michigan, I am coming home to Seattle to start my new job at the University of Washington, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. I will be an Admissions and Student Inclusion Counselor, which is a role that focuses on equity and inclusion with an emphasis on recruitment and supporting current students as they work to build a stronger community.

This career opportunity aligns with what I had been working on while completing my Master’s Degree.  I studied student access and success, and learned so much about how campuses can support first-generation students, students of color, LGBTQ students, and all marginalized voices.

I am proud to be at the forefront of this groundbreaking work at the Evans School, roles like mine are just starting to become part of institutions and it’s exciting to be a part of that start and watch as these types of roles grow over time.

My supportive spirit is something that I developed during my time in the Summer Search program.  Summer Search taught me a lot. First, the importance of mentorship. I never knew the value of mentorship until Summer Search and how much it is needed at every step of a person’s path. And second, the commitment to service. If there is any string that is constantly weaving its way through my life, it’s the value I place in serving others.

My commitment to service was solidified during my second summer program in Costa Rica, an experience that showed me so much about myself and the world, as well as provided me with a new perspective on privilege.

Two moments stand out from that trip. The first was discussing this speech called ‘To Hell with Good Intentions‘ that essentially scolded Americans and their misguided desires to ‘help’ others.  I still talk about that speech. The second was seeing a young girl, who was no older than me at the time, help her siblings get to school while she went to work. We asked where her parents were and why she wasn’t in school. We were told that her parents died recently and she had to take responsibility for everything. Watching her made me realize just how much privilege shows up even when you don’t think you have any. It was then that I decided that serving others needed to be a part of my core values.

Now, when I think of my career and how I shape it, at the heart will always be this commitment to help others find their success and do it in a way that creates a stronger community.

The Summer Search community has also been on my mind, due to the recent political and racial turmoil going on in the country.  I want my fellow Summer Searchers  to find their joy, their moments of peace, through everything that has happened and will happen.  Summer Search is a community they can lean on.

Marie Angeles - Alumna & Member of Seattle's Board of Directors.