The Story of Miranda Alvarez


My name is Miranda Natalia Alvarez. I was born in New York but primarily raised in Easton, Pennsylvania so I'm Dominican and also identify as Latinx, Latina. I'm very passionate about telling stories and and really sharing my culture with people so as a Communications and English major, a lot of the work and and the narratives that I'm interested in tend to have to do with Dominican women as well as Latinas in general. When it comes to like career and opportunity. I think one of the things that I always struggle with is conversations about affirmative action. When I was a senior in high school, I was always stuck between this idea of okay am I actually good enough to have earned this opportunity, or is it because I'm Latina and you know we're trying to create a more diverse landscape, or is it, man I'm not good enough but because I am Latina. So I think that created a lot of doubt and that was something that was affirmed by my classmates. I grew up in a really diverse city and I went to high school in Easton which is known for being diverse; however, given the level of classes I was in, I wasn't around a diverse population, so while my school was, my immediate peers weren't. And so I remember constantly hearing like oh you only got that scholarship because you're Hispanic. And it's like man like I’ve gone to school with you since I was in elementary school for some of these people and, and at what point did they decide that my work isn't equivalent to theirs. I think a really big value that I carry and is so important to me from being Latina, from being Dominican, is the emphasis on family, and not just family as in like people you're related to but also just like thinking of yourself as a collective. I really like about a lot of things from the classroom to relationships with friends and all that as, you know I'm a part of a team, I'm a part of something bigger than myself, and so my friend's successes are my successes in the same way that my friend's failure are my failures and I'm going to step alongside them in that, whereas I feel like American culture can be very individualistic, especially when you think of the norm and things like the American dream and the fact that, you know, we all supposedly are on this level playing field and determine our success and all those things and because of my culture and being raised Dominican, I think I can see past some of those narratives and think about others and I think it's just a compassion that I carry that doesn't seem always readily available in people who don't have that cultural background. I just wish I believed in myself more, I wish that I leaned more into my hard work and, and the fact that no there, there is a reason that I'm in these classes, there's a reason that I'm given these opportunities and it's because I work hard and I'm passionate about the things I do and so if anything, it'd just be trust yourself. Trust that that you're working hard, you have earned these opportunities and you're not taking them for granted. As a senior here at Cedar Crest in the Communication program specifically, we have to do a senior capstone project, and I spent months going back and forth deciding what I wanted to do, and what I was going to highlight and what I was going to explore in this project and at first I was really thinking about things that would look good, things that would highlight my skills or highlight the type of communication theory I knew, and I remember talking to multiple mentors and multiple professors about the multiple ideas that I had and they gave me the advice that I would want to give myself. Lean into what you love, lean in to what you're doing and the things that you're passionate about, and so I'm doing a project about Latinas in higher education and I'm seeking to tell their stories and I'm giving a space to women like me and women who I wish I could've seen. And so I would say that's my proudest accomplishment or the thing I'm proudest of that I'm currently working on because I've reached a place that I have cousins and family members and friends who have not been given the opportunity or have not been able to sustain the opportunity to pursue a higher education degree. And I'm using that to tell their stories and, and stories of women like us and stories of success and resilience and,  so it's a really great opportunity to come full circle it feels and to lift other women up with me, and hopefully encourage. I don't think there's anything more valuable that I could do with my senior project than that

The Story of Miranda Alvarez
Venus Cabrera
Miranda Alvarez
Location of interview
Allentown, PA
Interview with Miranda Alvarez on her life as a Latina woman in the Lehigh Valley along with her experiences in school and higher education.
CC BY-NC 4.0

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