This is a “Where Are They Now” Student Spotlight told from Mireya’s perspective.
Over four years ago, as a Senior at San Miguel I made the hardest decision of my life, to move across the country on to attend Georgetown University in Washington, DC. These dreams culminated on May 17th, 2019, when I placed my graduation cords around my mother’s neck and handed my graduation cap to my father. All three of us holding the enormous Latin inscribed diploma which affirmed I had graduated from the Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in both International Business and Marketing. It was OUR graduation.
During my initial years at Georgetown, I quickly learned how vital staying true to yourself is. It influenced my first unpaid internship in Nicaragua with a non-profit in education, as it did when landing my middle school dream of interning for my Congressman Raul M. Grijalva, and when receiving acceptance into the minority business fellowship of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT).
For all four years I helped lead the largest Latinx Dance showcase, Reventón Latino, fundraising thousands of dollars for various Latin American non-profits, inclusive of Operation Smiles and hurricane relief aid for Puerto Rico. I also sat on various leadership boards all focused around empowering the Hispanic and Latinx student population at Georgetown. Towards the end of my college career, I cemented my deep passion for travel and decided to study abroad for a semester in Madrid, Spain. With the objective of landing a full-time job in Marketing, I embarked on an unfamiliar journey that led to a summer internship at PepsiCo. An experience that gave me a glimpse of my future as a full-time PepsiCo employee post-graduation.
This new life chapter consisted of a Tucson girl with a Georgetown degree living and working in New York City. At PepsiCo I serve as an Associate Marketing Analyst for the Hispanic Business Unit supporting the Pepsi brand. Every day is different and fulfilling because I get to produce content for a brand, company, and consumer I am passionate about.
San Miguel High School prepared me by providing a place where I could discover and reach my potential. The San Miguel community prepared me for my college career and beyond through the Corporate Internship Experience, where I was able to discover my passion for Business Administration very early on. This type of exposure at an early stage in High School served me to begin to think and plan for my future.
One of the earliest support systems for me was the Arizona Leadership Foundation Scholarship. Back in 2013, I gave a speech at an ALF event that holds true today, “Supporters make our futures a reality. They allow for money to not be an obstacle for families or our futures. They stay with us during hard economic times because they see that their investment will be reflected in our futures, in our degrees, in our jobs, in our families. Without supporters, I wouldn’t have received the scholarship that allowed me to attend San Miguel, without the generosity of others I wouldn’t be here.” I am proud to be the product of such generosity and happier to be in a place where I am now able to contribute and give back to the community that believed in me.
Advice I would give other students is “Volando alto sin olvidar de donde vengo” or “Flying high never forgetting where I come from.” While you are accomplishing all, you set for yourself to do, remember where you came from and stay grounded as well as humble. For me; my background, being first generation to graduate from college, being raised in a Mexican household, coming from the South Side of Tucson, define who I am and got me to where I am today. Where you come from is never a disadvantage but a place of rich perspective that you can then offer the world. Carry with you the community that came before you, take with you your whole self everywhere you go, and this will make all the difference.