Keane Fajardo ’22
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Major: Human Rights Major & Community Action Minor
Extracurricular Activities: Charleston House of Interfaith (President 2020-21) and La Voz Latina (Social Media Specialist 2020-21)
Research or internships completed through Trinity:
Posse Internship (summer after first year): Organize events in career and leadership programming with Posse staff such as Academic Immersion Day, Posse Summer Olympics, and Test of Fire
The Kitchen at Billings Forge (first semester): Working with various classmates in order to create a video summarizing how the non-profit’s location has been positively affecting the community
True Colors Non-Profit (second semester): Worked with various classmates and True Colors to complete a social media audit and create research-based strategies to grow True Color’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts
I believe Trinity was a strong fit for me because I was really looking for that small-college vibe. Having experience in what it was like to go to a big high school with a population of 3,500 as well as a small high school with a population of 1,500, I knew that I would thrive in a smaller-sized seminar classroom. In addition to the size of Trinity, I was very interested in the school’s liberal arts education. Upon entering college, I had no idea what major I wanted to declare and Trinity offered me the time that I needed in order to find what I really had a passion for.
Posse has had a huge impact on my experience at Trinity because the program has acted as a safety net. Having a group of people I could go to for any reason has been helpful. Honestly, it was reassuring to have a stable friend group so that I could both explore new friendships but keep in mind that if I didn’t fit in, I could “go back to my roots” if need be. I came to campus never truly alone and I’m blessed to have had that experience.
My favorite experience at Trinity has to be memories made by friends – that includes professors, staff, and classmates. Trinity provides a real space to learn not only as a student, but as peers of the same academic field. My experiences with these people at Trinity will forever be a great memory. This collaborative environment is definitely not one that I thought I would have in college; a life long family-like support system from professors, colleagues, and friends.
I am looking forward to meeting each new incoming class of students. Now that I am a junior and life seems to be passing by so quickly, I honestly just love getting to know new faces on campus and share wisdom with them that I would have needed in their shoes. I’m sad that I’ve already finished two years, here but I’m looking forward to seeing all the new faces during the following two years.
Remember that college is not all about just academics. It’s about building relationships, studying the things you love and are interested in, and most importantly having fun while doing it all. I won’t go and say that these next four years are going to be the best years of your life because that’s cliche. However, I will say that some of your favorite memories will take place here. These memories will shape every part of you, so make sure they are the memories that you want.
Nanci Lopez Flores ’23
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Political Science
Extracurricular Activities: Barista at the Underground Coffeehouse, Student Recruitment Ambassador, Career Development Intern, Member of Budget Committee, La Voz Latina, Ulmus Literary Society
During my college search process, Trinity seemed like a strong fit for me because it is a small college located on the East Coast that provides extensive support to study abroad.
I knew I wanted to attend a college out of state since my first year of high school. I remember when I applied to Northwestern Academy, a college prep program for students in Chicago Public Schools, I told my interviewer I would love to go to the East Coast. During my third year of participating in the program, my peers and I were offered the opportunity to attend college tours and I immediately applied to be considered for the East Coast trip. I was thrilled that I got to tour Trinity during my spring break in 2018. What stuck out to me was my tour guide pointing out how helpful Trinity was at assisting students who wanted to study abroad. I intended to major in international relations, so ensuring I could study abroad was very important to me.
I attended a small high school with teachers and counselors who knew me by my name and became an integral part of my life. They knew my academic strengths and weaknesses and they were always available to help me improve upon my skills. This is the environment I wanted for my college experience, and I found that at Trinity. The small class sizes have been extremely beneficial. I took a 300-level political science course that was made up of 15 students and I was the only first-year student. Due to the small class size, I was able to flourish and easily receive assistance from my professor, Reo Matsuzaki. Whenever I needed help understanding a reading or wanted to improve my writing skills, Professor Matsuzaki was there every step of the way. Now he is my academic advisor, and I feel confident that I will continue to be successful since he is already very attentive and committed.
My last year of high school I was struggling with balancing my mental health, classes, extracurricular activities, as well as attending weekly Posse meetings. Nonetheless, my Posse mentors, Liz and Molly, were there for me from the beginning and continue to offer great advice. Now that I am on campus, Professor Aidali Aponte is the best Posse mentor around! She has been an invaluable source of great jokes and support. No matter the day, she has been there for my Posse and me in an academic and professional capacity. In my first semester, I decided not to go home for Thanksgiving break and Professor Aponte hosted a dinner for Posse scholars and other students who were staying on campus. She goes above and beyond every time because she takes the time to get to know us as individuals and as a Posse. Charlie Lindquist has also been a great mentor! He visited my Posse during our first semester and I mentioned to him that I had a summer internship in mind, the University of Chicago Urban Labs. He immediately put me in contact with a Posse alumna who works at the Urban Labs, and she then put me in contact with a Posse scholar from Pomona College in California! The Pomona Posse scholar openly shared his internship experience at Urban Labs and he even shared his cover letter to assist me, since I had not previously written a cover letter. I did apply to the Urban Labs, though they canceled the lab I applied for due to COVID-19. When I updated Charlie, he brought up another internship opportunity I might be interested in. By this point, Charlie had gone to work at Northwestern Academy, the college prep program I was a part of for four years! He took the time to stay in touch and even offered me a paid internship position at Northwestern Academy! During these uncertain times, it means the world to still have these opportunities. I am over the moon about working with the same people who helped get me to Trinity and getting to know high school students going through the same process I did. Posse makes networking a breeze!
I would have to say that my favorite Trinity experience so far has been working as a Student Recruitment Ambassador (SRA) in the Admissions Office. My job is to edit the profiles of tour guides and other SRAs before they are shared with prospective students. Reading these profiles has allowed me to see the incredible work my peers are doing on campus, in Hartford, and around the world. I am inspired and incredibly grateful to be a part of a hardworking, insightful, creative, and committed college community! Even though finals this semester were challenging due to COVID-19, I already feel re-energized and ready to tackle anything with my Trinity peers, faculty, and staff by my side.
I am looking forward to studying abroad, taking more fascinating courses, and building meaningful connections with the incredible people at Trinity.
As a political science major with a special interest in international relations studying abroad is vital. I believe that in order to be a successful political science major, learning about political organizations and governments firsthand will add to my academic toolkit in invaluable ways. During my first year, I was fortunate to study abroad in Paris for two weeks through a Trinity program known as J-Term. In that short time, I made great connections with my peers, professors, and roommates. When you travel with classmates, they become an important part of that experience, so I cannot wait to continue to make great friends in the coming years!
COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges to your last years of high school and to the college admissions process. Fret not! Trinity’s admissions team has been working diligently to ensure that there are incredible students available to tell you all about their experiences and lend a helping hand during these times. Please feel free to reach out to the admissions teams of the colleges to which you are applying. Become acquainted with how these colleges deal with challenges because that will speak volumes about their commitment to their students, even in your early encounters. I personally wish you the best of luck and give you credit for pushing through to find a college that fits you. You are already building resilience and are clearly committed, both of which are great skills and values to have as a Trinity student!
Tiana Sharpe ’23
Hometown: Chicago Heights, IL
Major: Human Rights and either Public Policy & Law or Hispanic Studies
Extracurricular Activities: Nest Artists, Encouraging Respect of Sexualities (EROS), Multicultural Recruitment Team (MRT)
Based on my high school experience, I was looking for an intimate college with discussion-based learning in a city. More so, I’ve always been passionate about human rights, so I was drawn to Trinity’s unique program.
I attribute my successful transition to college to Posse. As soon as Trinity admitted me, I gained a new family with older “brothers and sisters” that were mentors and close friends to me. All of my Posse family welcomed me with open arms and provided resources for me to flourish and thrive. I didn’t feel shy or homesick because I was already integrated on campus.
I struggle to name one in particular, but I always find myself the happiest when I am with my friend in the Underground Coffeehouse. I always feel so loved and cared for in that space and nine times out ten, I’m cackling because of something my friends are saying/doing.
My Posse family and I founded an art group on campus, Nest Artists, and I am very excited to create a community of artists on and off-campus to witness all of the talent.
Although it’s sometimes very intimidating to follow your heart and put yourself out there, I highly recommend that you’re selfish about your college career. This is the last step before real adulthood, and it’s important to enjoy yourself and take advantage of all of the opportunities offered. While you should always be responsible and plan for the future, make sure you live in the moment.