Karla Castro was born in Ecuador and settled in New York 14 years ago. Castro double majored in International Business and Marketing. As a HEOP (Higher Education Opportunity Program) student, she found a community that accepted her and pushed her to take on different roles during her time at Marymount Manhattan. While at MMC, she served as the Diversity and Multicultural Chair of the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Vice President of Marymount Muscle, Online Editor of the Yearbook, Peer Leader Crew Chief, and HEOP Tutor/Peer Mentor. She is excited to take on her most important role yet, being an adult, and her immediate goal following graduation is to travel to Europe with her fellow speakers. As someone who is driven by the passion in her journey, she leaves her fellow classmates with a piece of advice—don’t let fear determine your opportunity to new experiences, keep dreaming, even when the dreams seem impossible to accomplish, and love, love as much as you can, hasta el cielo.
Christel Mitchell was born in Brooklyn, New York to Jamaican and Guyanese parents. During her time at MMC, she majored in Business and minored in Dance. She was a member of Sole Steppers and co-developed Sister Circle, a space that provides empowerment and support to Womxn of Color at MMC. The knowledge and skills she gained from MMC has prepared her for the many different opportunities the world has to offer. As a HEOP student, she found her true self and was able to guide other students as a HEOP Peer Mentor. Following graduation, Christel will be traveling throughout Europe with her fellow student speakers and friends. Her passion for dance and the performing arts has helped her realize the need for its exposure in under served communities, and she hopes to open up her own performing arts school in these areas.
Tatiana Valencia was born in Queens, New York to Colombian native parents. She is graduating from MMC with a double major in Dance, with a concentration in Body, Science and Motion, and Psychology. Tatiana will forever be grateful to have been a part of HEOP which supported her on an academic, social, and emotional level. During her time at MMC, Tatiana interned with Dr. Martha Eddy, an exercise specialist and movement therapist. Under this guidance she successfully completed a Moving For Life Instructor training and is teaching gentle aerobics to cancer patients in hospitals around NYC. She has also been an active member of the on-campus organization, Advocates for Wellness Education, which aims to give students awareness on ways to live healthier lifestyles. In her final year at MMC, she co-developed Sister Circle, a support group for Womxn of Color that engages in meaningful discussions on race, gender, female empowerment, self-care and stress/anxiety reduction. Upon graduation, Tatiana wishes to pursue her dream of becoming a professional dancer and delve deeper into her health and wellness by becoming a personal trainer and holistic health coach.